Our Ambassador Siobhan Donohoe is thoroughly enjoying herself leading the C25K (couch to 5k) for Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club. This Monday marks week three of eight week challenge that is getting people all over Kilkenny moving off their couches. The end goal is a virtual 5k run on Sunday March 14, 2021.
Siobhan knows better than anyone the value of moving as she credits fitness and diet for a healthy lifestyle while living with Psoriatic Arthritis. She believes every movement matters, “I’ve learnt the hard way, if you can move, do it. Lying on a couch, feeling sorry for yourself, won’t help your pain.”
At 43 years of age, Siobhan took up running for the first time during the first lockdown and completed the virtual VHI Mini Marathon on behalf of Arthritis Ireland in August 2020. “It’s not something I’d do every day but I loved the challenge. I knew 10 kilometres in one go would be too hard on my body, so I did two 5 kilometre runs over two days, back to back. Where there’s a will there’s a way, if I can do it, anyone can.”
Carmel Everard, PRO of the Club said, “We picked Siobhan as our Ambassador to lead the C25k because her own journey is an inspiring one. Siobhan went from not been able to lift a knife and fork five years ago when her arthritis was at its worst, to now lifting weights regularly in the gym. If the Club can get five people to move off their couch and to help people’s mental health, then we have achieved something big.”
Since the gyms closed Siobhan has had to get very inventive with her workouts, hence why she is loving the C25K. “It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, you can do this. It’s 5k within your 5k and you don’t need any fancy equipment, gear or gadgets, just get off the couch!” Every Monday the Club posts the week’s challenge on their Facebook page Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club and it doesn’t cost any money.
Siobhan also wants everyone to feel the amazing benefits of a healthier lifestyle. So she has committed to share a healthy recipe every week to help us eat better while cooking at home during the lockdowns. “I love eating in our amazing Kilkenny restaurants, but this pandemic has taught me to get real in my kitchen and help my family to eat better. Sometimes there’s a battle in our kitchen as my husband Ed cooks for taste and I cook for nourishment, but since January we’ve joined forces and are coming up with new dishes to meet in the middle.”
Graigue Ballycallan AC are hosting a virtual 5k and 10k on March 14. The Club is promoting the eight week C25K on their Facebook Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club and Instagram pages @acgraigueballycallan. It’s free for all and everyone can engage with the pages as much or as little as they like.
For those who would like to commit to the run on the 14th March, they can do so on https://www.njuko.net/graigueballycallanac2021/select_competition and they will receive a beautiful bespoke medal and GBAC beanie.