David’s fundraising adventure for Croí!

 

So I had one hell of an adventure cycling to Paris in aid of Croí Heart & Stroke Charity!

David and Luigi, Croí
David and Luigi, Croí

The story of my cycle reads like one of lemony Snicket’s books! However, the more challenges overcome along the way the more rewarding the goal!😁 I managed to cycling just shy of 700km and raise just over €800! A big thanks to everyone who supported me! Especially Amy Joyce for the moral support along the way. Also, I’d like to thank West Side Cycles who were very helpful in the preparation for this trip!

So I suppose he best place to start with the summary story is at the beginning!

I left Galway on Friday the 16th of march from the Croí offices at around 4pm. I cycled approximately 40km that evening back to my parents place which is in the general direction of Rosslare. The weather was lovely and spirits were high! I enjoyed the cycle and I was home before to late. The following day however was a harrowing physical challenge and by far the hardest day of the whole trip. I cycled 140km to Kilkenny, which in of itself wasn’t much further than I cycled any other day of the trip. What I hadn’t accounted for was the sheer strength of the wind! It was blowing in my face the whole way. Progress was slow and I had to cut my breaks short to try and keep on schedule, it didn’t work, I was late and it got dark very quickly. Then it started snowing. Not heavily or anything, but visibility was VERY poor! Luckily I had invested in an extremely high vis jacket so I was still visible to motorists, however I couldn’t see very well by the light of my bike. (Which is designed to let others see me, not to see by) Due to the uncomfortable situation I found myself in I dug deep and pushed hard to get there as soon as possible. As a result I was utterly exhausted when I did get there! Being my 1st proper day of cycling and being so tired already I started questioning if I was really ready to do such a trip.

The next morning I woke up to a scene from Lapland or something. Overnight several inches of snow had built up and the roads were icy. I probably could have made it to Rosslare but I never would have managed to cycle there in time for my ferry. Also, it would have been needlessly dangerous! I made the hard call that I needed to resort to public transport! I got the train to Waterford and then a bus to Rosslare, where I got my ferry.

The ferry trip was very enjoyable and was just the rest I needed to raise my spirits and feel like I could complete the challenge after all!

However, Murphy’s law was far from done with me!😅

Without going into to much slanderous detail about what phone company and why, my phone was rendered useless as I couldn’t avail of roaming or internet. I was limited to WiFi. Additionally, when I arrived in Cherbourg I arrived to blizzard conditions!

Without internet to update my Google maps I navigated the 20km to my airbnb mostly by memory! Which wasn’t easy as everything looked different in the snow. At one point I tried to connect to WiFi, it was a pay x amount for 30mins deal. However it had to send you a verification code by text and by email.

Now I wasn’t receiving texts and he reason I was trying to connect to the WiFi was because I’d no internet. For approximately 1 minute after paying my phone appears to stay connected to he WiFi before it realised that I hadn’t inputted my verification code, so I paid 3 times hoping the email would come through and I’d be able to connect. This was unfortunately not the case! Regardless, I found my way to the airbnb and I connected to the WiFi just to receive an email saying my bank account had been blocked due to multiple small transactions in a small space of time (Fraud prevention)! So to sum up,  my phone wasn’t working, my bank account was blocked and I had been almost lost in a blizzard in the middle of the French countryside!

I was fit to give up at this point but thanks to encouragement from Amy and the fact that it only took a quick email to unblock my bank account I decided to stay going.

The following day the snow cleared almost immediately. However Google maps decided that roads were for tourists! The routes that it brought me down were almost impassable. I had to dismount and walk my bike up a “trail” that was to overgrown to cycle and then later a road gradually changed from road to dirt track to trail to RIVER! I actually cycled up a stream for a few metres, the alternative being turn around and go back about 8km! The water was about 8″ deep and my shoes got thoroughly soaked despite being on my pedals! I meant to head down to Omaha beach for a look but at Carentan I got my first puncture of the trip. Combined with the delay from the “trails” in the morning I had to take a short cut to stay on schedule. The rest of that day went smoothly and I actually felt quite well rested upon my arrival in Caen!

The following morning was yet another challenge, Google maps insisted on bringing me down some more “cycling trails” and at one point one “trail’ became completely impassable for someone with a bike. The trail had changed into a gully between two fields and someone had dumped huge piles of cobbles into it! I was forced to climb out dragging my bike and go through the field to the nearest road. Trespassing unintentionally!

From that point I ignored Google maps and just checked the map myself at every junction. This slowed me down severally! At the next break town I found WiFi and recalculated my route but told Google maps I was in a car but to avoid motorways. Which it did, mostly…..

I started to make great headway as the roads were really good and were slightly downhill! So at my next break point instead of stopping for a while I just had a quick sip of water and threw my bottle into my waterproof bag along with all my electronics. Two hours later I found a 2L puddle in my bag along with all my electronics! I’d been making to much headway to be brought down by this so I tried things as best I could, flipped my bag inside out, threw everything back in (except the water) and continued on my way!

Again I was making huge headway and spirits were high! Until a car pulled up beside me and yelled “c’est une autoroute! Quittez la route!”

“It’s a motorway! Get off the road!” The road had started off as a regular road and had gradually changed into a motorway, I’d been making such good headway I hadn’t noticed! Nor apparently had Google maps!

Anyway, this added about 10km to find another route but all in all it had been a good day and I had made it all the way to Alençon!

The following day was the 2nd most challenging day. It was day 3 in a row of 120km distance. What I knew about it was that the city I started in and the city I was to arrive in were at approximately the same altitude. So despite the morning of cycling up and down hills, when I was far behind schedule I couldn’t figure it out.

I kept asking myself, “You are going downhill here as much as you are going uphill, why is this taking you so long?” I’d no answer so I just kept plugging along, barely taking breaks in an effort to catch up. It was in vain and with only 2 hours left of sunlight I arrived at the two thirds mark. I was seriously doubting myself again. Was I really so tired that the 88km or so had taken me all day? What time am I going to arrive at my hotel? Am I going to get enough sleep tonight to be ready for tomorrow? Am I really up for cycling in the dark again like I did outside Kilkenny?

Anyway, I had a quick break and then forced myself to stay going. I was only cycling for 5 minutes when I found out the truth. The entire morning I had been cycling gradually further and further uphill and the whole evening was a nice even slope downhill for 40km! I flew most of the remaining kilometres to Chartres! I even had to stop for puncture number 2 and I still made great time! Upon my arrival I was extremely happy because I was literally and metaphorically over the hill! The vast majority of my cycling was completed and I had only 80km to do the following day to where I’d be staying for a week to do a bit of rock climbing!

The following days cycle went smoothly and I arrived at my destination without any further problems!

I’d left Croí at 4pm on Friday and arrived in Fontainebleau at 3:30pm the following Friday! I’d essentially made it! I only had a short distance to cycle to Paris a week later and I now had some time to relax in the sunshine and climb with some Friends!

The sunshine lasted until Tuesday and then the rain came. I spent 2 days doing nothing in a hostel before deciding to return home early. I moved my ferry 2 days forward and prepared to cycle to Paris…  The problem was I didn’t have time to cycle the whole way there and still catch my train back to Cherbourg. I cycled about 20km Then got a train the rest of the way. I’d (almost) completed what I’d set out to do! I had cycled most of the way to Paris and I think the adverse conditions that I did it in makes up for the few kilometers that I skipped out on!

In conclusion, it was a great challenge and all the things that went wrong just added to the sense of adventure! The physical part of the challenge wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be, but there were mental aspects I hadn’t even considered. Such as the almost agoraphobia that sets in when you are cycling on a road from horizon to horizon bound on either side by endless fields that don’t even have hedges! The only thing breaking the endless land is the odd tree or wind turbine! It makes you feel like you’ll never get anywhere! 😅

Or just the fact that every evening is haunted by the knowledge that you have to do the same the following day!

It was all well worth it and it was good to learn that I had the mental fortitude to keep going!😁

I am sure I will be doing something similar again VERY soon!😁 Of course the fact that I was doing the whole thing for a good cause was a major source of motivation for me! I recommend to everyone to check out Croí for their information and services in regards to heart health!

 

If you would like to support Croí and organise your own adventure for Croí please contact Luigi@croi.ie we will support you all the way!

 

Couch to 5km week 4

Welcome to the Couch to 5km plan  – don’t forget to register for the 4th annual Croí Night Run on October 12th – let our event be your target!

This program is intended for a complete beginner, so as long as you are injury free and in relatively good health you should have no problems with getting through this challenge.

*Please consult your GP prior to partaking in any physical activity.

Any physical activity can be made that much easier if it is done with others and it is a great way to stay motivated. Especially as the nights are getting longer and the couch is calling, it is made that much easier to get out when you know someone is there with you through the tough patches in your training when your already a little tired from work, so the more the merrier.

2 weeks to event day be sure to sign up!! 

 

Week 4 Couch to 5km

Day 1: 10 minutes of constant jogging ,10 minutes walking, 10 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking and then stretch.

Day 2: 1 hour 20 minutes of a brisk walk.

Day 3: 15 minutes constant jogging, 5 minutes walking, 10 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walk, then stretch.

Day 4: 1 hour 20 minutes brisk walk and stretch!

 

 

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch! 

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. 

Proudly supported by Evergreen Healthfoods 

 

Couch to 5km week 3

Welcome to the Couch to 5km plan  – don’t forget to register for the 4th annual Croí Night Run on October 12th – let our event be your target!

This program is intended for a complete beginner, so as long as you are injury free and in relatively good health you should have no problems with getting through this challenge.

*Please consult your GP prior to partaking in any physical activity.

Any physical activity can be made that much easier if it is done with others and it is a great way to stay motivated. Especially as the nights are getting longer and the couch is calling, it is made that much easier to get out when you know someone is there with you through the tough patches in your training when your already a little tired from work, so the more the merrier.

We caught up with Janette (couch to 5km coach) this morning and asked for some advice on staying motivated during these few weeks.

With winter well and truly on its way it is very easy to give into leaving your training until.. tomorrow, yes we have all done it. We are all masters of procrastination when it comes to being uncomfortable. Get comfortable with feeling a little uncomfortable.

It is the first 2 minutes of your training that you may feel the wind or the rain. After that it won’t matter what the weather is doing. A running jacket and hat and your pretty much sorted from the elements (your going to be sweaty anyway). Your main concern should be to stay warm and not get cold at any point during your training so layers are a good idea.

Remind yourself why you started training in the first place. To be fit, feel healthier, feeling better in your own skin, challenging yourself, in remembrance of a loved one.

Whatever it is remind yourself why you started training and use it as your motivation when you feel like… no ill do it tomorrow, do it today, there’s no time like the present.

Week 3 of the plan is below, good luck, and remember any questions just ask!

Janette, Physical Activity Specialist, Croí

Week 3 Couch to 5km

Day 1: 10 minutes of constant jogging, 10 minutes walking, 10 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking and then cool down.

Day 2: 1 hour 20 minutes of a brisk walk. Then cool down.

Day 3: 15 minutes constant jogging, 5 minutes walking, 10 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walk. Then cool down.

Day 4: 1 hour 20 minutes brisk walk, then cool down.

 

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch!

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. 

Croí Night Run – Your Story

 

If I can do the Croí Night Run 5km, anybody can!

 

No, really….  in late 2015 at 41, I had a stroke & was totally paralysed on my left side. Having spent 2 months in bed, I progressed to a wheelchair & through lots of sweat, determination & support, I learned how to walk & walked out of the hospital, one step at a time.

Less than a year later, I registered for the Croí Night Run 5km, not knowing what to expect, coming from Dublin – I’d never been in Salthill, Co. Galway. The welcome that I received was like a big warm hug, wrapping you up & later when crossing the finishing line, in tears, to the sounds of Tina Turner is something I’ll never forget and it spurred me on to come back and do it again – and I did and I wasn’t last but that really doesn’t matter – I tell myself “you’re lapping everybody on the couch

Croí provides invaluable support to stroke survivors (like myself) and their families so not only will you feel a great sense of achievement, you’ll also be helping a very worthy course.

So what are you waiting for? If I can do it, you can…. good luck 🍀

Hope the rain holds off this year 😊

Helen Mancini

 

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch!

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. 

Proudly supported by Evergreen Healthfoods 

 

Couch to 5km – week 2

Welcome to the Couch to 5km plan  – don’t forget to register for the 4th annual Croí Night Run on October 12th – let our event be your target!

This program is intended for a complete beginner, so as long as you are injury free and in relatively good health you should have no problems with getting through this challenge.

*Please consult your GP prior to partaking in any physical activity.

Any physical activity can be made that much easier if it is done with others and it is a great way to stay motivated. Especially as the nights are getting longer and the couch is calling, it is made that much easier to get out when you know someone is there with you through the tough patches in your training when your already a little tired from work, so the more the merrier.

Remember to always stretch and warm up correctly before you exercise and a good cool-down stretch at the end to ensure your muscles keep there suppleness and you don’t get to sore.

Choose the right clothing and footwear, its not a bad idea to get online and look at some independent reviews if you are unsure on what is adequate. Also remember this is Ireland so make sure to wear good bright colours so you can be seen on those dark evenings.

The very best of luck and enjoy!

 

Week 2 Couch to 5km

Day 1: For 20 minutes, jog 200m then walk 100m. Keep this up for the full 20 minutes, then walk for 20 minutes and stretch.

Day 2: 60 minute walk at a brisk pace.

Day 3: For 20 minutes, jog 400m then walk 400m. Keep this up for the full 20 minutes, then walk for 20 minutes and stretch.

Day 4: 1 hour 20 minute walk at a brisk pace.

 

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch!

 

 

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. 

Proudly supported by Evergreen Healthfoods 

Your family can start eating healthier

Healthy habits start at home, We want to help people establish a healthier way of life so they can be around to enjoy their families. Parents and grandparents can pass down a healthy legacy to their children and grandchildren – and we can help the next generation lead better, longer and healthier lives.” Dr. Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., Chairperson of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee and Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont.

Here are some tips to help you and your family start eating healthier:

  • Enjoy meals together. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much.
  • Get kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
  • Eating healthier at home starts with the ingredients you use. Many favorite recipes can be made healthier by substituting ingredients.
  • When you use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose healthier oils — which include canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils.
  • Limit added sugars in your family’s diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars for most of us, so reduce or cut out soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks as well as enhanced waters, sweetened teas and sugary coffee drinks. Drink more plain water instead.
  • Try to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. If using packaged foods, compare food labels, and choose the product with the least amount of salt. Use herbs and spices to add flavor when cooking, instead of salt.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, whether fresh, frozen, dried or canned. Add them to dishes your family already loves and use them as healthier sides, snacks and desserts. If you choose canned, watch for added salt and sugars.

Source – American Heart Association

10 tips for a healthy diet

Watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease and stroke. What you eat, how much you eat and how often you eat can affect your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Equally, what you eat has a direct effect on your weight. Read our 10 tips for a healthy diet.

Eating less of certain foods (e.g. foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar) and eating more of the other foods (e.g. high-fibre foods, fruits, vegetables and fish) will help protect your heart and keep your body healthy.

Healthy eating is important for everyone in the family. The key thing is to have a balanced diet with everything in moderation. A Mediterranean style of eating is known to be cardio protective (i.e. protects your heart and blood vessels). A Mediterranean style of eating is based on lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, olive oil, fish, alcohol in moderation, eating with family and friends and reducing stress. Below are some of the main principles of the Mediterranean diet that can be followed for overall health as well as heart health.

10 tips for a healthy diet

  1. Stick to 3 square meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  2. Reduce your portion size, especially at dinner. Use a standard 9 inch plate and aim to increase your portion of vegetables to at least half the dinner plate.
  3. Increase your fruit intake – keep it at work, in the car and in the handbag!
  4. Limit red meat intake to a maximum of 3 times per week
  5. Try to increase your fish intake, especially oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines
  6. Choose low fat dairy – limit your cheese intake to a max of two matchstick box sizes per week
  7. Limit your salt intake – avoid using salt at the table and in cooking
  8. Avoid adding sugar to your food or drink
  9. Watch your alcohol intake – aim for two alcohol free days per week
  10. Always keep hydrated
10 tips for increasing your activity levels

10 tips for increasing your activity levels

Physical activity helps to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure, increasing your ‘good’ cholesterol levels, helping you maintain a healthy weight and by keeping your heart healthy. It’s never too late to begin exercising, the key is to increase your level of activity at a steady rate over time.

Your heart is one big muscle and, like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to stay healthy. Keeping your heart fit and healthy makes it easier to pump blood around your body and makes you feel more energised as well. Exercise also helps you to stay at a healthy weight – and can help you look good too!

Top tips

  • Set goals: It is important to set small, realistic and achievable goals on a regular basis. This will increase your chances of maintaining physical activity levels in the long-term.  The annual Croí Night Run takes place on Friday October 12th 2018 why not sign up and set yourself a goal this autumn! Click here to register.
  • Split activities into 10 minute slots: If you are new to exercise trying to achieve the recommended 30 minutes may seem daunting. By breaking it into 10 minutes slots it is much more achievable and you can build it up slowly as your fitness improves.
  • Add activity to your daily routine: Take the stairs, park further away at the supermarket, get off the bus a stop early, walk to the local shop or do some gardening.
  • If you have a hectic schedule choose activities that require minimal time: For example, save travel time by walking or running from your house rather than travelling to the gym or local park.Increase your activity levels
  • Exercise with a friend or family member: This can help motivate you and form good habits.
  • Join a class: An exercise class is a great way to meet new people and vary your exercise routine, helping keep you motivated.
  • Choose activities that you enjoy: If you don’t like walking for example you are unlikely to stick to it. Pick an activity that you enjoy or you are interested in.
  • Plan ahead: Organise your exercise gear the night before, schedule exercise in your diary or put a reminder note on the fridge, if it is a planned event your are much more likely to stick to it.
  • Keep an activity diary: This will help you track your progress and motivate you to continue exercising.
  • Choose an activity that is free: Walking, running, cycling, dancing, playing with the kids, walking the dog or gardening etc. Exercise can be incorporated into your daily routine and does not need to be a drain on your finances.

Croí Galway Night Run – FAQ’s

Croí Galway Night Run – FAQ’s

The Croí Galway Night Run will take place on Friday October 12th on the Salthill Promenade at 8pm and is open to walkers, joggers and runners of all abilities. Please note we advise that all participants arrive early to allow time to park and gather for the event start.

Note: please keep your chip number on display at all times, it needs to be visable when crossing the start and finish line.

FAQ Croí Galway Night Run

1. What times(s) will registration/ number pickup be held?

  • 9 am to 8 pm Thursday 11th October. Please ensure collections of packs are within these times.
  • You can collect a pack for another person, please have participants name and phone number to confirm.

2. Where will registration(s) be held?

3. What do I have to do on registration day?

  • You will receive your goodie bag and sign a waiver form.

4. Are there toilets available at the start of run?

  • Toilets will be available in the Claddagh hall and at the start point at Mutton Island.

5. Where are the water stations?

  • Water will be available to all participants at the finish line.

6. Is there car parking available for competitors and spectators?

  • Yes parking will be available in main Salthill car park and various areas along Salthill, this is not limited to Night Run participants arrive in plenty of time to find parking.

7. What time is warm up?

  • Warm up will begin at 7.45pm with run starting at 8pm sharp.

8. Do I need to bring a torch?

  • The prom will have normal street lighting and we have additional lighting at the start/finish line. If you would like to bring a torch please do so, but it is not essential to bring one with you. If you have any reflective gear we would encourage you to wear this.

9. Are children allowed to take part?

  • Under 12’s are free to join the Croí Night Run under adult supervision. Note under 12’s do not receive a goody bag or t-shirt but we will have a medal for everyone! If you register and wish to bring your son/daughter they would be most welcome under your supervision. It is a night run, it will be dark so please keep this in mind when bringing children.

10. Can I register at Croí House?

  • Yes, you can register at Croí House – you can pay by cash or card at reception desk, call Jessica on 091 544310 for more information. Croí House is open Mon-Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm.

11. Can I drop my bag at the start line?

  • No, there is no bag drop available.

12. Are walkers welcome?

  • Yes! We welcome all abilities – walkers, joggers or runners (even woggers _ walkers/joggers 🙂 )

 

Note: Please keep your chip number on display at all times, it needs to be visible when crossing the start and finish line.

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch! or email edwina@croi.ie

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

Couch to 5km with Croí

Welcome to the Couch to 5km plan  – don’t forget to register for the 4th annual Croí Night Run on October 12th – let our event be your target!

This program is intended for a complete beginner, so as long as you are injury free and in relatively good health you should have no problems with getting through this challenge.

*Please consult your GP prior to partaking in any physical activity.

Any physical activity can be made that much easier if it is done with others and it is a great way to stay motivated. Especially as the nights are getting longer and the couch is calling, it is made that much easier to get out when you know someone is there with you through the tough patches in your training when your already a little tired from work, so the more the merrier.

Remember to always stretch and warm up correctly before you exercise and a good cool-down stretch at the end to ensure your muscles keep there suppleness and you don’t get to sore.

Choose the right clothing and footwear, its not a bad idea to get online and look at some independent reviews if you are unsure on what is adequate. Also remember this is Ireland so make sure to wear good bright colours so you can be seen on those dark evenings.

The very best of luck and try to enjoy!

Week 1 Couch to 5km

Day 1: 50 minutes of constant walking, cool down stretch

Day 2: Walk for 20 minutes, then 20 minutes alternate – jog 100m then walk 100m repeat, cool down stretch

Day 3: 60 minutes walk, cool down

Day 4: For 20 minutes jog 200m then walk 200m and repeat for the full 20 minutes,  walk for 15 minutes then cool down

Day 5: 30 minutes walk

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch!

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. 

Proudly supported by Evergreen Healthfoods