I Had No Motivation To Run Tonight. Then I Thought About All Of The Negative Experiences I’ve Had And Went Out Anyway.

I wasn’t gonna fucking run tonight as I didn’t sleep well last night and just wanted to relax.

Then I thought about all of my bad moments as a runner and decided to just fucking go for it and try my best to do something positive for once.

My run was great. I recorded 9 miles in under 1:15 at an 8:19 min/mile average pace. My last mile was the fastest of 2014. I’m getting better.

Relentless forward progress and all of that wank.

Here are the negative experiences that pushed me on.

  • Being trapped in North Las Vegas with no fuel or energy left in my body. Trapped for 2 hours behind a man in a Man United away top with Van Persie 20 on it.  Never again.
    I Had No Motivation To Run Tonight. Then I Thought About All Of The Negative Experiences Ive Had And Went Out Anyway.
  • My 70k breakdown in Ardingly in the 100k and the embarrassment of having to ask other runners if I could run along with them for light. Never again.
  • Breaking down at mile 10 in my first ever half marathon and having to walk the rest of it. 3 miles of slow walking through Larne. It’s a wonder I have an arsehole left to shit out of.  Never again.
  • Finishing my first marathon 56 seconds over 5 hours and the disappointment thereafter. Never gain.
  • Having to ask David Ford the Justice Minister of Northern Ireland if I could shit in hedges during the 50k. He said no, but being a politician he was obviously lying.  Never again.
  • The last 8.2 miles of the Paris Marathon. Hitting those steep ramps and losing the will to run. Never again.

When I say ‘never again’ I mean that I have the power to change and improve and it all starts with individual decisions.

I can think positively or choose to be negative.

I can either eat the fucking cake or not eat the cake.

I can either fucking run or not fucking run.

Sometimes 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

I Had No Motivation To Run Tonight. Then I Thought About All Of The Negative Experiences Ive Had And Went Out Anyway.
This isn’t in fact a picture of Belgian cock-rock musician Meatloaf. It’s a sexy portrait of your Mother. What a lady.

I Think I’ve Finally Settled In London For The First Time Since I Arrived.

Well guys I’ve finally settled in London. After 6 months of moving about from Airbnb’s, hostels and crappy Spare Room shares, I’ve got a place that I can call home.

I’m proud that I continued running during my first few months here. It was unsettling moving from place-to-place almost every week but I’ve persevered with it and I’m now almost back to full fitness again.

My weight is down to 203lbs which is 6lbs less than the start of the year. I’ve managed over 100 miles for every month of 2014 and I’ve even ran more than I did at this point last year. Impressive given the move! I’m on 157 miles for July and there’s still 10 days to go.

This is gonna be my best month ever.

Here is a quick recap of the high and low points of my first 6 months in London.

The high points of my first 6 months

  • Staying in the hostel in Greenwich and running half marathons around the Park before heading out to job interviews. That was strangely fun.
    I Think Ive Finally Settled In London For The First Time Since I Arrived.
  • Running along the seaside in Brighton whilst watching a thunderstorm develop over the Channel. That was quite sexy.
  • Completing my first 18 miler in Tottenham before heading down to St James Park to harass the squirrels. It proved I could still complete the longer runs.
  • Playing table football with the guys I worked with in Brixton and having a laugh after work on a Friday.
  • Running through the North Downs in the first part of the 100k to Brighton. Beautiful. Pity the rest of the run wasn’t as fun!
  • Reaching the fundraising target for the book. You’ve inspired me on with your kindness over the past few months and I won’t let you down.
  • Running to Essex for the first time whilst I stayed in Walthamstow, I thought it was cool just breaking out of the urban sprawl of London to see some countryside.
    I Think Ive Finally Settled In London For The First Time Since I Arrived.

The low points of my first 6 months.

  • Staying in the hostel and drinking pints at night to sleep because of the awful fucking noise. That was a nightmare. There was one Australian bint who wouldn’t stop gloating about how she was going to Paris in 3 days. 2 days. Tomorrow. I sat there each night thinking “Couldn’t you just fuck off already love and annoy some French people?”. The worst bit about traveling is that you have to meet other travellers.
    I Think Ive Finally Settled In London For The First Time Since I Arrived.
  • Coming into work one morning to find that our office had been repossessed. I didn’t have much money saved and was worried I wasn’t gonna get paid. Fortunately I did get paid otherwise I’d have had to resort to yanking off drunken Scotchmen outside the KFC in Piccadilly for Highland toffee.
  • Setting off the burglar alarm on my first run in Sydenham and waking up everyone in the house. Embarrassing at the time. But now I’m glad I fucking did it. Cunts. I apologised too much to them. I hope they drown in their own sense of self-satisfaction. Motherfuck! Motherfucking! Motherfucking whorebags!
    I Think Ive Finally Settled In London For The First Time Since I Arrived.
  • The entire, awful month in Sydenham was really fucking miserable. It was that shit that I opted to live in a fucking hostel again instead of risking living with WANKERS! I resorted to prayer each night and I’m an atheist.
  • The first night in London. No job lined up. Only one week of accommodation. Living in a strange place with strange people. What the fuck was I doing with my life? Why had it come to this?

Then on my 2nd day in London I was at Aldgate East tube station and saw a Polish girl selling sandwiches for £1.40 at 7:30am in the morning. It gave me a taste of freedom.

There was a world outside and I had to go out and fucking get it.

 

Why My Running Has Improved Recently – The 100K And The Low Carbohydrate Diet Attempt.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been making some sustained progress with both my mileage and my pace. In this post I will discuss the two main reasons why things have improved, namely the 100k run and the low carbohydrate diet.

(Today I continued on with the progress and recorded my 2nd sub 2 hour half marathon of the week in a time of 1:59:41.)

The 100k

I used to worry that my body would fall apart if I went out for 2 runs during any given day.

The 100k proved to me that I could do 6 or 7 ‘different’ runs and survive. This resilience has allowed me to record 4 40+ mile weeks in a row with the latest 2 being 50+.

On a Sunday night I try to go out on 2nd run just to bump my mileage up a little bit. I couldn’t go tonight as there was serious lightning up in Tottenham for an hour.

But on any normal Sunday I can do at least 5k without any problems and it’s definitely improved my endurance.

Why My Running Has Improved Recently   The 100K And The Low Carbohydrate Diet Attempt.

The low carbohydrate diet

Running on low carb was fucking difficult. In order to finish even 6 or 7 miles I was having to run at 100% effort.

It was because of this that I knew I could give more on the run without it hurting too much. In the months leading up to the low carb attempt I’d been coasting with my running. I was upset if I ever got out of breath and because of my laziness my pace never seemed to improve beyond a 9:40 minute/mile.

I’d fallen into the trap of thinking that running faster than a 9 minute mile would exhaust me and that it was naturally bad.

I’ve since stopped listening to my mind and now concentrate on how my body is reacting. It  is more capable than I give it credit for, it’s just my brain that’s weak.

Ever since then I’ve been trying to push my easy pace down below a 9 minute mile. It’s been a challenge but I feel like I’m getting there.

It’s still so much easier than running on low carb was for that week, so I do have hope.

If I’m struggling and try to run to survive my pace comes in at around 9:17 minute/mile. Up until June this pace was about 9:42 minute/mile. If I can persist with this over the next 3 months then there’s no reason why I can’t achieve my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon.

As you can see from below my 10 mile run times have improved drastically in July 2014 alone!

Why My Running Has Improved Recently   The 100K And The Low Carbohydrate Diet Attempt.

Stopping At 11 Miles On A Long Run Because Of Heat Exhaustion And Eating A ‘Racist’ Dinner.

Last night was a bit of a blur. Too much beer around Shoreditch and Camden and I can’t remember the exact moment I got home. I remember sitting at Euston tube station and singing ‘Down at the Tube Station At Midnight’ to myself and that was it.

Stopping At 11 Miles On A Long Run Because Of Heat Exhaustion And Eating A Racist Dinner.

I was also impersonating the automated recording of the Tube lady who announces the tube Station.

“This is Kings Cross St Pancras! Change here for rent boys, gangsters selling mashed up cake as heroin and a fucking library!”

Anyway I awoke this morning and my head was a little rough but I sent no embarrassing texts nor did I shit anywhere where I shouldn’t have. This was a victory for me.

It was a great night out with the guys from Rumble Labs from Belfast.

Running with a headache.

I went out at 3pm for a run knowing that it was gonna be a struggle. The hangover grew worse as the day progressed and the temperature outside crept up to 28C by the time I started.

I headed along the Lea Valley towpath again and got as far as Waltham Abbey in Hertfordshire, which is just past the M25. In my mind I wanted to complete a long run of over 16 miles but unfortunately my body wasn’t ready for it.

Stopping At 11 Miles On A Long Run Because Of Heat Exhaustion And Eating A Racist Dinner.

Calling it quits.

I stopped running at 11 miles. In the past I’d have been disappointed in myself for quitting, but it was simply too warm.

I walked the rest of the way home to Tottenham and stopped a lot to pick blackberries off of the hedges. Never in my life before have I picked and ate wild fruit and I was sorta concerned that I’d poison myself but it turned out to be great.

By the end of the journey I’d started running again as I was gonna be late for the laundrette and I’d have had no clothes for this evening otherwise.

It may be tempting to wander around London naked at the moment because of the heat, but I value my freedom.

A racist dinner or a celebration of good food?

Tonight I’m taking it much easier with a dinner of fried chicken, grape soda and watermelon. I’m not sure if this is racist or not. I certainly didn’t mean it to be that way.

Stopping At 11 Miles On A Long Run Because Of Heat Exhaustion And Eating A Racist Dinner.

I mean, anyone who is normal recognises that fried chicken, grape soda and watermelon are fucking amazing together. In my mind this shit should be served every Christmas day instead of that awful turkey nonsense.

The fact I’m eating this in bed is a bit disgusting but then again I’m a pig.

Oink oink.

Setting A New Half Marathon Personal Best Of 1:54:23. Finding A Home & A Contract.

I’ve been in London for almost 6 months and it’s only now that I’ve managed to secure a permanent place to live! I’m gonna be staying in Tottenham until the end of the year.

I’m so happy.

On top of that I’ve also secured a new contract.

So much awesome all at once, I don’t really know what to say. I’ve even got a fucking kettle. I can prepare the Pot Noodles once again. This is a game changer.

Tonight’s run

My plan was to go outside and record 7 miles at a leisurely pace. I didn’t wanna push myself too hard in the heat.

In the past my only complaint about Tottenham is that it’s not the prettiest place to run around. Tonight I found the River Lee Navigation towpath and the fucking thing extends all the way out to Hertford, Hertfordshire.

It’s at least 30 miles long.

Setting A New Half Marathon Personal Best Of 1:54:23. Finding A Home & A Contract.

I honestly think I’ve died and went to heaven.

I followed it out past Enfield until it started to become dark . I turned around at 6.66 miles and realised that I was on for half marathon distance.

I pushed at the end and managed my fastest ever half marathon at 1:54:23. The great thing is that I know I could have gone faster if I’d brought some water along with me.

By mile 10 the dehydration was making me dizzy as hell so I had to slow down a little.

The future is looking bright

It was a really beautiful run and that route will be amazing for long runs.

Now that I have a place to live I can change my focus from simply surviving onto improving.

There is an Easygym just down the road from the house and I’m gonna join it and scrap Puregym. I want to get back to running sub 50 minute 10ks on the treadmill again.

Setting A New Half Marathon Personal Best Of 1:54:23. Finding A Home & A Contract.

I’m also gonna scrap my shitty little security locker that I’m renting down in Vauxhall. It’s costing me £50 a month and if I ever go back to Vauxall again I think I’ll stick my ballsack in a blender.

Relaxing tonight by watching a document on Jim Morrison & The Doors.

Christ he was a dirty bastard.

Today I Went On A 10 Mile Walk Through The East End. I Also Had A Shitty Run.

Today started off with some serious fatigue. I don’t really drink enough alcohol to get a hangover anymore but instead it seems to make me dreadfully tired.

I only got out of bed as I heard a huge buzzing noise around my head. It was a bee. I freaked out like the little girl that I am and started out on what turned out to be a 10 mile walk.

I found the Hackney Marshes towpath and followed it until Hackney Wick. It was beautiful seeing all of the houseboats on such a lovely day.

Today I Went On A 10 Mile Walk Through The East End. I Also Had A Shitty Run.

I must have taken around 8 wrong turns in the East End as I got totally lost in some godawful estate inside Mile End.

Fortunately the only bad thing to happen was my encounter with a drunk. He was sitting down at a bus stop and I could see he had vomited right in front of him. It didn’t help that he was clutching a can of Tennents Super.

Today I Went On A 10 Mile Walk Through The East End. I Also Had A Shitty Run.

As I walked past him in silence he growled ‘where’s your fucking manners boy. Are you not gonna say hello?’

Obviously not. I couldn’t offer him any words of comfort being a bit of a pisshead myself. Besides, I was too busy eating a blue ice pop to care.

Tonight I ran 6.87 miles in 64 minutes and it was an absolute pain in the ass. Stones kept finding my way into my shoes meaning I had to stop twice.

Then I noticed that my watch had ran out of power and I stopped altogether.

The frustration got to me and I took off my shoe before smashing it against the pavement. My original plan was to throw it into oncoming traffic but that would’ve been a bit excessive.

Sometimes I think that the only reason that I run is to count miles like a retard on my watch. When the GPS facility isn’t working I seem to lose all interest.

Anyway I’ve ran 43 miles this week already and I’m certain I can do at least 10 more tomorrow.

This is only true if I avoid more shoe stones and alcoholics.

What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?

As runners we tend to put pressure on ourselves to run faster and further and it’s seemingly never ending.

We complete training schedules that we once thought would be impossible but at the end of the experience instead of feeling proud of ourselves, we focus on what went wrong and how we can go faster next time.

Will there ever be a point where you’ll have achieved enough to be happy?

My main goal over the next few months is to run a sub 4 hour marathon. In my mind I can only imagine how happy I would be if I achieved what I set out to.

Still I know that if I did manage this I’d find reason to be unhappy with my performance.

3:59!?! You could have at least ran 3:58 you lazy fucking bastard. You’re still nearly 2 hours slower than the real athletes you doss cunt.

And it would continue on from there.. The endless striving to get better. Wanting to arrive somewhere I’ll never get to. And even if I did arrive, how would I know I was there? Will Colin Jackson dance down from the crowd and tickle my balls?

What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?

I remember crossing the line at the 100k and just feeling pretty flat. There was no emotion. Just a “thank fuck that’s over, now how quickly can I get to the nearest J.D Wetherspoon without insulting all of Brighton with my musky sack?”

Mo Farah epitomises it best. He ran a 2:08 in his first marathon at London and came out of it heartbroken. Even if he had won the race I’m sure he would have found grounds to be disappointed within himself.

The need to succeed too often trumps the need to remain sane.

What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try.

4 years ago today I entertained the thought of becoming a runner for the first time. The idea that anyone could run 5k without stopping intimidated me.

My first ever jog was in Berlin. I’d spent the afternoon in Alexanderplatz and had a 1.5 litre stein of Warsteiner and a plate of Currywurst with Pommes Frittes for dinner.

What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?

I forgot to go to the toilet in the restaurant and ended up having to sprint across to White Trash Fast Food in the former DDR to have the piss of my lifetime.

3 days after that I drunkenly decided to enter the Belfast Marathon whilst in Prague. I was still 240lbs and a bit of a fucking mess.

Since then I’ve ran 6,000 miles, several marathons, a 50k and an absolute abortion of a 100k and I still don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything which is why I’ve been entering crazier and crazier challenges.

This is pretty fucking ridiculous

I’ve lost touch with where I started off from.

When you focus on how far you’ve left to go you tend to forget how far you’ve come.

With the 100k I fell into the trap of thinking that I’d finally hit the point where I’d be happy within myself at my accomplishments and then that would be that.

To a certain extent I did have an epiphany there. It took a breakdown in Ardingly at the 70k mark to realise that I was pushing myself too hard and that I’d never find happiness or acceptance through these insane fucking challenges.

Quite the opposite.

What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?
John Snow, the fucking owner of Ardingly.

All I can do is revert to my old philosophy of trying to end each day in a stronger position than where I started from.

If I can do that for most of the rest of my life then I won’t have to worry about shit.

So the question for you is, what will you have to achieve as a runner to feel content with yourself?

A 14 Mile Run Through A Thunderstorm On A Very Wet Sunday.

Well I’m only back an hour or two from my final run of the week and it went quite well.

I completed 14 miles in 2:13 which is quicker than I’d set out to run.

I’d started off at a very easy 10:30 minute mile and tried to relax my way into the run as I wasn’t really feeling inspired today.

The reason for my change of pace was due to a thunderstorm that I could hear in the distance that was moving towards where I was running.

A 14 Mile Run Through A Thunderstorm On A Very Wet Sunday.

The skies all around me where becoming darker and I cringed at mental images of suffering a lightning bolt to the ballsack.

I just kept running though. The rain at one point was torrential and I tried to ignore it as much as possible. If you let the weather drag you into a bad mood then you’ll give up quickly.

It’s better to try to accept the shittiness knowing that it will all soon pass.

A 14 Mile Run Through A Thunderstorm On A Very Wet Sunday.

I’ve wasted so much energy in the past swearing at the fucking sky for having the audacity to rain but that’s just what skies do sometimes. You can only deal with it in the best way that you can.

The best option is to just keep on running through it.

This is only true if there isn’t a supercell storm brewing above. Those fuckers will rip you a new asshole without saying please or thank you. Your only option is to seek shelter immediately before you’re left picking hail out of your piss hole for the next century.

Today’s 14 mile run now means that I’ve ran over 40 miles for two weeks in a row.

I’ve noticed that running becomes so much easier if I remain consistently above that level.

It’s easier for me to stay above 40 miles each week than it is to begin again and work my way up to where I was before.

I know that I have to keep increasing my mileage whilst looking after my body a lite better but I think I’m getting there!.

On The Run Again – I Was Meaning To Post The First Part Of This Yesterday But Feel Asleep As I’m A Lazy Bastard.

I feel asleep at the keyboard before pressing Publish. This post is from Friday.

Today was the first day that I’ve been out of work in the last 4 months and it was fantastic spending it the way I wanted to.

I woke up at 9am and ran 8.6 miles shortly after a visit to the shop. After finishing with the low carbohydrate diet I’ve been trying to improve my eating in general. This involves more fruit and less fucking chocolate.

The run was extraordinarily difficult in the heat. One of the things that I do miss about Northern Ireland is that the heat barely reaches over 20C, unless of course it’s riot season, then temperatures as high as 1000C are reported all across the province.

Once I got back to the house, I started walking into Shoreditch from Walthamstow.

I stopped for about 5 ice creams over the course of the 7 mile walk. I had chips in a shop in Hackney that was playing ‘How Soon Is Now?’ by The Smiths.

On The Run Again   I Was Meaning To Post The First Part Of This Yesterday But Feel Asleep As Im A Lazy Bastard.

The bastards took about 5 minutes to serve me my food and I kinda related to Morrissey whilst standing there at the counter.

He was waiting for the cock. I was waiting for something equally vinegary. Very frustrating altogether. It all ended well as the small portion of food only came to £1.10 and it was delicious.

I devoured the chips in Victoria Park and walked on into Shoreditch where I had a Peanut Butter bagel from Beigel Bake on Brick Lane.

On The Run Again   I Was Meaning To Post The First Part Of This Yesterday But Feel Asleep As Im A Lazy Bastard.

Today’s run

Once again it was pretty fucking warm outside and my main aim was to try to run past 10 miles.

I did 15. It was an out and back route to Buckhurst Hill in Essex. Apparently they are staging part of the Tour De France tomorrow which still doesn’t make any fucking sense to me.

On The Run Again   I Was Meaning To Post The First Part Of This Yesterday But Feel Asleep As Im A Lazy Bastard.

The only real downer about the run was my capitulation at mile 15. I became dizzy all of a sudden and was close to collapsing. I  stopped and switched off my watch and walked back home.

There’s no point in running past the pain barrier to the point where my heart shits itself. I’m no use to anyone if I’m dead.

The aim again for this week is to hit 40 miles but I want to continue to run further and faster. If I can work myself up consistently to 50 miles a week then come October I’ll be very strong for the marathons.

Over the last 4 weeks I’ve ran a 16 miler, an 18 and a very difficult 15 today. They all count and I’m gonna keep on trucking.

Training for autumn marathons has always been easier for me as I find it much more difficult to run in the heat. When the colder weather comes around my endurance definitely improves a great deal.

As I type the final part of this post I’m sitting in a Wetherspoon in Holborn watching this guy who looks EXACTLY FUCKING LIKE ME (before I got my head shaved). He keeps talking about dragons. I think he’s fucked in the head.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

On Thursday I had a low-carb shit. After spending 7 nights on less than 50g of carbohydrates, my digestive system was in mutiny.

It took 40 minutes of pushing for me to splash out a few pebbles. It was worse than childbirth. The thing is at the time I thought I was shitting royally. In fact my main concern was blocking the toilet and flooding the bathroom for the 2nd time in a fortnight.

Thank God the family I’m staying with were out at Church. I didn’t want to have to explain what was going on if they came knocking half an hour into my ordeal.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

It all ended with a fart. And then movement. Serious fucking movement.

10.7 miles in the rain.

After that shit I almost felt like I was reborn.

I went out and headed North as part of some sort of natural homing instinct after the trauma.

I ran up past the Walthamstow Stadium and just followed the road up along Chingford Mount until I found myself at Station Road. I turned back and decided to turn the run into a speed session and managed to record an average pace of 9:09 min/mile over 10.7 miles.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

A super run.

18.25 miles in Epping Forest

Running in London hasn’t been great really in terms of scenery. Everywhere you go seems to be a concrete jungle.

My 18 mile run on Saturday was a welcome change.

After running out to South Chingford on Thursday night I followed the same route but this time kept going past Chingford Station. I followed Bury Road and entered Epping Forest and it was great jogging around the trails without any drivers or other bastards to annoy me.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

I was gonna quit after 16 miles as my right tit was seriously leaking blood through my yellow running shirt but some guy who looked really like Sheffield Wednesday’s old Dutch winger Regi Blinker, looked me in the eye and said to me ‘You can do it boy’.

I nodded at him and said ‘thanks man’. It was almost like a spiritual experience. I thought about it for a while and convinced myself that Christ was back and using the Dutchman as his avatar in an attempt to win over my heart.

Thanks Regi / Jesus / or the nice man from North London who gave me encouragement when I really needed it.

Really appreciated.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

8.4 miles

Today I woke up in a really bad mood. I kept choking in my sleep and had a nightmare where I was running laps of the Channel 4 ‘Countdown’ studio set and was threatened and then punched by security for stinking out their place of work.

My aim for the day was to run 11 miles but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it over a single run so I set out to try to do 2×5.5 mile runs.

I dunno how but I had some serious fire in my legs and carried on for 8.4 miles at an average pace of 9:08 min/mile.

I celebrated by buying a half bottle of Lambrini and some chicken for dinner.

This left a ‘simple’ 5k for the 40 mile week.

I set out on my 5k with a belly full of chicken and Lambrini and began to feel nauseous from the start.

A Superb 40 Mile Week After Recovering From My Low Carbohydrate Ordeal.

The best thing about the 100k experience is that I now know that I can work through pain and succeed if I just keep going forward. I did that today and recorded a 5k in 28 minutes around Walthamstow.

It ended with some cunts kicking a football at me and missing by a mile. I wanted to shout ‘THIS IS WHY YOUR NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM IS SHIT!’ but that would have been a bit ironic since I’m from Northern Ireland.

But fuck it. What a bunch of cunts.

And what a good week for running.

Why I’ve Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week.

It’s been a week since I started the low carbohydrate diet and I’ve decided that I hate it and I’m stopping this shit at once. I’m going out of my mind with how fucking monotonous this all is.

Here’s why I’m going back to a balanced diet.

  1. My body odour is fucking powerful. This is quite important. I stink of meat and sweat. It’s fucking gross.  I can’t seem to scrub away the smell. Fucking terrible and I haven’t even been running! If I was the landlord of this house I’d ask me to leave. Seriously thinking of going over to the Tesco Express and hanging some Glade plug-ins from my ears and balls. 
  2. I’m sick of eating meat.  I never liked meat much to start with but by now I can’t stand it. Having it along with every meal is boring. I’m on the verge of becoming a vegetarian for Christ’s sake. I also hate steak.
    Why Ive Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week. 
  3. I’m starting to hate dairy too. Eggs. Cheese. Babybel. Ugly scenes inside my stomach. Christ weeps.
  4. I miss eating salads. Salads with dressings. Pasta salads. Variety. I can’t just eat carrots and lettuce.
  5. I’ve started going to Whole Foods in Piccadilly Circus every day and I hate everyone in there. Including myself when I’m in there. 
  6. The smell of my own piss offends me. When I started on my weight loss journey it stank of sugar puffs. Now it smells like ammonia. I’m terrified that I’m gonna head into the bathroom one night for a sloppy piss and have Scotland Yard break down the fucking door and arrest me under terrorism charges.
    Why Ive Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week.
    “Nothing that could come out of my cock would threaten national security officer, unless it somehow leaked into a fellow crosseyed deviant’s belly, lay there for 9 months and hatched out as something equally awkward and angry as Pa!”
  7. I also miss grapes and strawberries. I love both and don’t consider either to be fruits because they are genuinely tasty. Under a low carb regime it is not acceptable to eat an entire punnet of fruit. You must wrap the evil carbs in fucking Ham.
  8. I miss eating low fat Subways. Even though they are the most depressing place ever to eat fast food in I’ve been a fan of Subway sandwich for a long time. I have all of the vegetables with them.
  9. I miss Sushi. Especially the Veggie Starter Pack from Wasabi on Wardour Street. I can’t stomach raw fish unless it’s in a rice casing.
    Why Ive Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week.
  10. I’m tired of pissing all the time too. I don’t give a fuck if I’m pissing fat either.

In conclusion

I can’t be bothered with the struggle of counting carbohydrates, weighing myself and caring anymore. I hate how life is reduced to fucking numbers. Everything can be quantified. Your weight. Your daily calories. Your miles. Your carbs. The weight of your soul after a bad wank.

We specialise in inventing problems that don’t exist. We worry about imaginary shit as there are no warlords running amok with assault rifles here, except in our own minds where the war never ends.

Why Ive Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week.

It shouldn’t really be like this should it?

I sit for too long after work in St James Park watching the waterfowl and they don’t care for any of this shit. They’ve no public image to worry for. They have just bread and the constant threat of death to contend with.

I just wish I could stop caring and stop getting in my own way all of the time. I wish I was strong enough to be balanced 100% of the time like those fucking ducks.

Cunt fucking bastards.

Why Ive Stopped Eating A Low Carb Diet. I Lasted A Week.

 

Running A Difficult 6 Miles And Suffering Badly From Tiredness On The Lower Carbohydrate Diet.

Today I went out for a run and I broke down at 6 miles. Running on this low carbohydrate diet is more difficult than I’d maybe anticipated. I’m hoping that it was just the heat that killed the run but living off 35g of carbohydrates is a challenge compared to the 600-1kg I was living off daily before.

The day started off bad. I’m still in the shared house in Walthamstow and I have to sleep on a bunk bed that’s 6 foot in the air. I’d planned on going out early in the morning when it wasn’t so hot but unfortunately that wasn’t to be.

I tried stepping out onto the bunk bed ladder but it fell off. Being terrified of heights I sat on the top bunk wandering how the fuck I was ever gonna get down.

Running A Difficult 6 Miles And Suffering Badly From Tiredness On The Lower Carbohydrate Diet.

I was gonna text the landlord and explain what had happened but I have dignity. Besides, I’d left my clothes down on the ground and I’d already flashed him after floodgate last Thursday and I didn’t want a fucking repeat. 

Eventually I made it down by just stepping down onto a wardrobe and jumping (probably ruining their fucking ceiling in the process).

All in all I was trapped up there for 2 hours.

Jesus.

I’m really fucking tired

Anyway tonight I’m absolutely fucking wrecked. I’m starting to go into ketosis and am hoping that this tiredness phase ends soon. It’s pretty unbearable and writing this fucking blog post is a challenge.

I wanted to go out tonight but I was literally falling asleep at my desk here.

Tonight’s dinner was a packet of cheese slices and 2 bars of 85% Cocoa chocolate. My carb tally is 27g for the day. I think that’s good.

Basically I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing but I’m willing to try something different if it means making some progress with my diet. For 3 years I’ve been trying the low fat regime on and off and it just hasn’t worked as it makes me crave food even more than normal.

At least now I’m not thinking of food. I’m thinking about going to fucking bed and that’s what I’m doing now.

Night.

Switching To A Low Carbohydrate Diet As A Runner After Admitting I’m Out Of Control.

I’ve been trying to burn the same 10 pounds of fat that I’ve been attempting to get rid of for ages now.

I run, then I eat like shit and then I feel like shit and then I run and I eat like shit and it just goes around and around.

I mean what’s the fucking point in running 40 miles a week only to eat 40 miles worth of shit back?

I’m starting to fucking bore myself by making the same mistakes over and over. I’m tired of not making enough progress.

I’ve always tried to move forward with my diet but I need to face the facts, I’ve failed.

This week I came to the conclusion that my diet is out of control.

I leave work at about 6pm and go immediately to the shop across the road to buy a bar of Lindt Excellence on Maddox Street.

Switching To A Low Carbohydrate Diet As A Runner After Admitting Im Out Of Control.

I then walk across Soho to another corner shop here I buy a bar of Green & Black’s. That’s 2 chocolate bars in about 10 minutes.

From there I ‘treat’ myself to a Wasabi Chicken Katsu Curry, usually whilst I’m still eating the fucking chocolate from earlier.

Switching To A Low Carbohydrate Diet As A Runner After Admitting Im Out Of Control.

From Wasabi on Wardour Street I will go for a 3rd chocolate bar at the newsagent’s just down from The Ship.

For dessert. Because this is totally normal isn’t it?

Then the shame kicks in.

When I realise what I’ve done and all the shit that I’ve eaten I go for a pint or two to block out what’s just happened.

After the pub I will head off home via Leicester Square tube station but not before having a fucking croissant at the tube station.

I’ll go to bed and wake up and think “shit I have to burn all of that just to break even. I don’t have the time to run 10 miles so I’m just gonna go back to bed and feel angry at myself all day.”

It’s at that point that I’ll realise that the damage has already been done and have a packet of Wild Berry Skittles.

Switching To A Low Carbohydrate Diet As A Runner After Admitting Im Out Of Control.

I really don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me at times.

I guess I’m just not comfortable in my own mind or body.

Eating junk food just keeps my mind occupied for maybe 5 minutes so that I don’t have to think. As thinking leads to worry. And worry leads to panic.

The comfort from eating like shit never lasts and it only gets fucking worse.

So to try to kick my way out of my rut I’ve started on a low carbohydrate diet. I’m sticking to 50g of carbs per day and just aiming to eat filling foods because I’m fucking sick of the minefield of tracking calories, Weight Watchers points and all of that other fucking wank.

Today I went on my first ever run since I started the plan I’d only eaten 35g of carbs today so running 7.6 miles felt a little strange.

It wasn’t ridiculously hard but it was different.

What am I hoping to achieve through the new eating regime?

I don’t really know. I want to visit chocolate shops less often I guess.

I’d like the illusion that I’m in control again too.

An Excellent 16 Mile Run Around Walthamstow On The Day After I Accidentally Flooded A Kitchen In My New Houseshare.

So for the 10th time in my 4 months in London I’ve shifted houses once again.

I moved into a new Airbnb on Thursday night and in my usual spectacular style, I alienated myself from my housemates within 12 hours of check-in.

I went out on my first night and completed 7.5 miles around Tottenham Hale and Blackhorse Road. It wasn’t a spectacular run by any means apart from the last half mile when a dog ran at me growling and I upped my pace to a steady 7:30 minute/mile out of anger at the stupid cunt owner.

An Excellent 16 Mile Run Around Walthamstow On The Day After I Accidentally Flooded A Kitchen In My New Houseshare.

That was my first run in absolutely ages that I ran a sub 9 minute mile. The run finished on a 9:22 minute/mile average. All good.

A good first impression

I wanted to make the best first impression I could with my new housemates by trying to nip any runner odour problems in the bud

So I spent 20 minutes in the shower the next morning. All was well until I heard loud knocking on the door.

“Oh fuck. There isn’t a fire downstairs is there?” thought I.

No. Before I jumped into the shower I flipped the heater switch. Instead of warming up the shower it had activated a shower head that was extremely close to the ground.

I didn’t see it at the time.

For the 20 minutes I was in getting washed it was pouring out water and it leaked down through the floor into the kitchen.

It had also saturated the only clean clothes that I had with me for the night.  Luckily for me it was 25C outside and they dried out soon enough whilst I was out and about in London on Friday.

An Excellent 16 Mile Run Around Walthamstow On The Day After I Accidentally Flooded A Kitchen In My New Houseshare.

But fucking hell man!

Within 12 hours not only had I flooded the kitchen of my new house, but I’d also accidentally flashed my balls to the landlord.

When he came in to explain exactly what was happening in the kitchen, I had no time to put my soaking wet clothes on and my balls were swinging away like the Sixties.

True fucking styling, don’t you think?

Today was a little better.

I went out on a jog around Walthamstow with no expectations. I’d spent Friday night getting drunk as hell to try to cheer myself up about floodgate. I just didn’t wanna go back to the house.

I struggle to maintain conversation with strangers let alone with grown men who have just seen my ballsack.

Anyway, my aim today was to just keep running until my legs gave up.  10 miles would be an absolute victory.

My longest run last week was 9.2 miles and even that hurt like hell.

I kept it going for 16 miles.

It wasn’t my strongest ever run but considering it’s only 3 weeks since the 100k I’m delighted that I’m still able to run decent distances.

It’s only week 2 of marathon training and I’m off to a great start. If I can somehow keep myself away from awful junk food and stop myself from getting arrested for accidentally exposing myself to my betters, then life will be brilliant again.

In theory anyway.

A Lazy Weekend Where I Have Been Laying Out New Marathon Plans.

I had great plans for this weekend. I wanted to go out to Hampton Court and Teddington to celebrate the summer whilst it is still here but instead I spent most of it in bed or out running.

A Lazy Weekend Where I Have Been Laying Out New Marathon Plans.

This was because I went for some pints with Tara from Rise and Shine Paps and drank considerably more than I have in quite a long time. The truth about me is that I can’t really handle that much booze these days without dozing off and then feeling like absolute hell the next day.

I’m a lightweight for my size.

To compound matters on Friday night I had my first kebab in well over 3 months. I didn’t get a fork from the restaurant so I had to dig awkwardly at the meat with my bare hands.

It was like being back with your mother all over again only without none of the swearing, mindless unprovoked violence and blue sailor shanties.

Anyway it is unfortunate that you can’t spend time asleep and run at the same time. Fuck physics. Sleep running would mean everyone would be as fit as hell. I wouldn’t have to set my alarm to get up to run.
I’d have to set it to stop running!

A Lazy Weekend Where I Have Been Laying Out New Marathon Plans.

Anyway less shit talk. Let’s get to the gravy.

My aim for the week was a solid 40 miles but I only managed 33. I guess that’s not too bad considering the 100k was only a fortnight ago.

I can build on my mileage from here.

I wasn’t gonna run at all today as the idea of completing 14 miles to make up the 40 mile total was daunting. I have fallen into that trap before all too often so I went out with the aim of just running 4 and fortunately I managed 7.

My next goal is to try to run 4 marathons by the end of the year. I wanna do Dublin and Amsterdam. Loch Ness is always a possibility but I’m terrified of going any further North of Edinburgh in Scotland as the men wear skirts and I’m confused enough as it is without any of that bollocks.

A Lazy Weekend Where I Have Been Laying Out New Marathon Plans.

Plus the race is sponsored by a soup manufacturer and I hate broth. It reminds me of being poor and having potatoes for every meal.

So from here on in I’m gonna be back to manageable marathon training. I won’t be doing any more off road ultras for quite some time as I really hate trail running.

I just don’t have the balance for it.

Amsterdam will be a test for obvious reasons.

A Quick Recap Of Why I Continue To Run And Have Adventures.

I like to take part in running.

I’ve never really been great with preparation. Even in my first few runs I was woefully prepared. Wearing running bottoms that I had to keep yanking back over my ass. Frustrated by my inability to run in a straight line. Always cursing my lack of athleticism.

Fucking hating the GPS watch that would never roll through the miles and beep at me quickly enough.

Blaming others for not starting with my jogging at an earlier age.

I remember in January of 2011 being in the first few weeks of marathon training and planning 8 mile runs for myself around Greenisland in Northern Ireland thinking that I’d never be able to do it.

I did do it. Perhaps not in the quickest time ever. Definitely not with the best preparation ever.

But I got through it.

I wanted to give up all of the time as running at the start was too stressful. My legs hurt and my lungs burned. It never seemed to get any easier. I was so embarrassed by the way that I ran that I only went out when it was dark.

I carried on and battled through my first half marathon that I walked the last 3 miles of.

I completed my first marathon. Then I did my second and nearly drowned. A third followed in Paris. Then a 4th in Belfast.

A Quick Recap Of Why I Continue To Run And Have Adventures.

On most of those runs I messed up in some way whether it was my preparation or my character on the day.

But I got through each of the races and kept on running partly for fun but mainly to stay sane.

I wasn’t really getting much faster but I was enjoying my running more and more. I no longer felt hopeless. I started to dream about what was possible.

I developed a resilience and a confidence that made me wanna lead my own path in life, regardless of how fucking stupid it seemed to everyone else.

Then I ran a 50k that turned out to be 60k. It took me 8 hours and 23 minutes and I was the last man home. Midway through the run I asked the Justice Minister for Northern Ireland if I could shit on public property.

A Quick Recap Of Why I Continue To Run And Have Adventures.

He was not the first politician from here to say ‘No’.

I shat anyway and I continued onwards.

Shortly after that I ran my fastest ever marathon in Dublin. It wasn’t especially fast but it was for me. It meant a lot as I didn’t stop at all to walk.

Then a month later I went to Las Vegas and managed to complete my 6th marathon after 7 nights of buffets, string cheese and Fat Tuesday cocktails.

A Quick Recap Of Why I Continue To Run And Have Adventures.

I kept on running.

I entered a bad phase in my life after Vegas. I returned home from the perfect holiday to a cold and dark place that I saw no way out of.

I stopped everything for two months and started to write a book about running and all the while I didn’t stop running.

Then I moved to London where I found many new places to run. 

Life began again but maybe a little too quickly at first.

I wasted too much time worrying about a 100k run. I should have ‘worried’ through my legs and stamped out the fear. Instead I ate and drank too much. My typical response.

I kept on going.

I finished that 100k in just under 26 hours. I was mightily disappointed with my time to start with but as the days went past I grew thankful that I completed it.

As a runner I’m often caught out by my inexperience and my lack of preparation but I have always survived and came back for more.

A Quick Recap Of Why I Continue To Run And Have Adventures.

That’s where I am today and I will keep with this spirit until my universe someday stops and my body is carted out from whatever Mexican eatery I expire in in a big black wankbag.

Hello chicken!

Starting All Over Again As A Runner In A Positive Frame Of Mind

I just completed an 8.56 mile run there in 1 hour 21 minutes and I’m back to feeling strong again, this time physically and mentally.

It was my first run back in Northern Ireland after almost 4 months and I felt a bit emotional revisiting my old route. I think the thing I miss about here the most is the kindness of strangers.

I’ve had nothing but encouragement in the 3 years that Carrickfergus was my stomping ground and it’s meant a lot to me.

I have to say that the last month or so have taken a lot of me.

The stress and utter madness of starting a business and planning for the 100k whilst living in a fucking hostel has driven me to the brink.

Most nights I drank maybe 2 or 3 pints just to try to sleep as I was always in a room full of people who sounded like they were trying to snort in wild boar.

Starting All Over Again As A Runner In A Positive Frame Of Mind

I’d then wake up with a bout of self hatred after sabotaging my own training plans by giving into drink again and running any hope of ever truly succeeding at the 100k.

London round two.

The reason I moved into shared accommodation was that I was reluctant to stay in another person’s house after my experience in the last one.

It’s a little silly that I put my pride before anything else but that month that I stayed there was a serious bastard.

Anyway I’m heading back to London for round two and I’m wholly convinced that I will come out on top this time.

I have a job. I have somewhere great to stay. I will dedicate my nights to the book instead of worrying about it.

I didn’t play the perfect game in the last 3 months. I fucked up more times than I care to think about. I let myself become paralysed by fear of failure and regret about the past.

Where I go from here is entirely up to myself. I can view my 100k as a massive failure after it took me 26 hours or I can look at it as something that I can improve upon.

I could have so easily gave in at 80k but I knew that I had to finish it to give myself somewhere to work up from.

Starting All Over Again As A Runner In A Positive Frame Of Mind

And that’s the only way I can view it. I’ve come a long, long way over the past 3 years but there’s still far to go and that’s what drives me up.

I refuse to give up or to give in to my demons. The fight will continue and I will have this.

Looking Like A Frenchman In The London 2 Brighton 100k And Post Run Non-Fun.

I’m back in Northern Ireland for the weekend and it’s been great seeing everyone again. I was showing my family the pictures of me from the 100k and they pointed out that I looked like a lost Frenchman.

All I’d need in the picture below is a chain of fucking Garlic and a beret and the calls of “Allez Matt!” would have brought me home in record time to Gay Paris.

Looking Like A Frenchman In The London 2 Brighton 100k And Post Run Non Fun.

Here’s what happened after the 100k.

Immediately after I finished the 100k I got the shuttle bus into Brighton City Centre where I thought I’d spend some time browsing the shops.

The problem was that I was so tired that all I wanted to do was collapse. To give you an idea of how exhausted I was I tried withdrawing £20 from the cash machines at Brighton Station, took my debit card out of the machine and left the cash there.

I then went into M&S for some chocolate and water, got to the till and tried to exit the building with the items without paying the guy.

I kinda broke down into hysterics at the till just at the insanity of it all.

Somehow made it to the Post & Telegraph Wetherspoon pub in Brighton were I ordered 10 chicken wings and a pint of whatever fucking ale they had on offer.

Looking Like A Frenchman In The London 2 Brighton 100k And Post Run Non Fun.

I couldn’t enjoy my lunch as I kept falling asleep at the table and was worried that I was gonna start having night terrors after my experience at Ardingly.

Anyway it took me 4 hours to eat my dinner and drink my pint. Definitely some kind of record there for me.

From Wetherspoon I had to get to my Airbnb host who was in Hove.

I ordered a taxi out there and the FUCKING IDIOT left me off at completely the wrong spot. To compound matters my mobile phone was out of power so I couldn’t find out where I was.

This meant that I had to walk all of the fucking way back in towards Brighton so I could find somewhere to charge my phone.

Looking Like A Frenchman In The London 2 Brighton 100k And Post Run Non Fun.

This took about 2 hours and by this time my Airbnb host was getting mighty pissed off by my no-show antics.

I got to Fogg’s in Dyke Street outside Hove and sat down for a while to charge my phone.

According to Google Maps it was roughly 2 miles back to where I was staying.

And I didn’t have money for a taxi. So I had to walk it all the way back again. The blisters were that painful on both of me feet that I had to start walking on the front of them.

I think this is why my left foot is a little bit fucked.

Tonight I’m pretty relieved.

All this week I’ve been eating like hell and everything seems to be out of control as I can’t run because of my bad foot.

I was worried that my weight had increased up to above 230lbs.

It turns out that I’m 208lbs which is actually lower than my weight when I set off for London on the first place. I’m going back tomorrow to London and starting afresh again for a European marathon in September or October.

I’ve still to decide which I’m gonna run!

The dream is still on and the book is coming along well.

I want to stop worrying and to begin enjoying life.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon – The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

On the Friday before the London 2 Brighton 100k Challenge I was shitting myself. The more I thought about what lay ahead of me the more I wanted to go screaming like a little girl into the night.

What the fuck had I done? 100k? Was I totally fucking mad?

I spent that day boring my colleagues with talk of how scared I was. Their response ranged from “you’re right to be nervous!” to “you’ll be alright! just take it easy!”.

Before I knew it work was over for the day and I had to get the train from London Waterloo to Teddington so I could find my tent at the London 2 Brighton campsite.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

Finding my tent outside Teddington

The walk from Teddington train station to the camp site by the Thames was beautiful by night.

I walked through the town centre which was full of revellers and I thought about how nice it would be to not be running the race tomorrow and to be inside a bar getting pissed out of my mind instead.

The trouble is that this attitude was responsible for me becoming a drunken slob in 2008-09.  Comfort might begin when you sit your ass down on a bar stool but it soon ends when you’re shitfaced and trying to blame anyone but yourself for the predicament you find yourself in.

At least as a runner I accept responsibility now for my life.

I found my tent quite quickly after that.

And I knew I’d made a mistake in not bringing any camping shit with me.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

Not even a sleeping bag.

I had to make do with using my man bag as a pillow and my suit jacket as a blanket.

I was tossing and turning all night as I kept hearing badgers, planes, foxes and fuck knows what else outside my tent.

I caught zero fucking sleep.

Soon morning arrived too with serious fucking rain (and pain).

At this point I was seriously thinking of just not running and pretending to be injured or something.

To compound matters I’d left all of my running fuel outside my tent. It was totally fucking saturated.

I tried to salvage what was edible and chowed on a few saturated Percy Pig.

Hardly the ideal breakfast.

I didn’t want to think about what lay ahead of me so I just got on the fucking minibus to the start with everyone else, arrived at registration and took my place at the start line.

Off to a walking start.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run the entire distance of the race so I started slowly at a walk and quickly formulated the plan to try to get well past 20 miles by mid day as part my greater plan to finish it by midnight.

This would leave 42.2 miles to do in 12 hours. It took me 8:23 to do the 36.5 miles I ran in the Titanic Quarter 50k.

Surely I’d be OK?

For the first 25k I just focused on running very slowly and walking a little too.

25k point

I hit 25k at about 10:30am knowing I was well on track to achieve my goal. I sat for 20 minutes at the rest point eating crisps, chocolate bars and drinking coffee. It felt amazing……

Until I glanced down at my top and noticed my left nipple was crying blood again.

I didn’t want to have to retire from weeping titties this early so I went immediately to the first aid point.

The doctor asked me what was wrong. I pointed to the blood stain on my jersey.

“I’m gonna have to tape that up” were her words.

“Ok. Can I see some certificates before you wrap it up love? I’m not normally this suspicious but when it comes to my tits, I don’t want them ripped to shit by an angry intern!”

Those were the words in my head. In reality I just said “OK.” and winced like the big puss that I am.

Running through the valley in the North Downs

The next stage after 25k was undoubtedly the high point of the run for me. I ran up the hill with a cyclist who was asking me about the challenge. I didn’t catch his name but talking with for 20 minutes took my mind off what was ahead of me.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

For the next 5 miles I ran through countryside and it was heavenly. The sun even came out for the first time.

The only low point was encountering a woman walking 3 dogs on a very steep and narrow stretch of footpath. I let her and her hounds pass me but one of them wouldn’t budge.

The lone dog barked at me and ran backwards.

I started slipping down the hill.

The dog barked more and ran even further back.

I slipped down the hill even faster.

The dog barked louder and ran further and further back.

This fucking cherade carried on for what felt like 12 fucking hours at the time. I tried reasoning with the dog but it couldn’t understand me through my broad Ulster dialect.

I’m very fortunate that I didn’t get bitten.

My first fall and heavy rain and hypothermia at Crawley.

The run turned nasty at 40k. I was only a mile short of the rest break when I fell hard after tripping up over my own legs. Loads of people saw me go down so I pretended to laugh but it was actually really fucking sore.

Fortunately I wasn’t hurt and sprinted on to the rest point where I made sure I downed as much food and water as I could to keep my energy levels up.

It was here that the weather turned really nasty for half an hour and I began to shiver like fuck. I was taken into the first aid tent again and given a foil blanket and binliner to run in.

The sun came back out again quickly and the rest of the run up until 56k was beautiful.

The main rest stop at Tully’s Farm was fucking amazing too!

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

I made most of the BBQ and had a few hot dogs, 2 plates of pasta and lots of coconut milk.

The sun came out and the atmosphere was great.

I maybe spent a little bit too much time here as when I tried to move from 56k I was stiff as hell and lost my footing running on the grass. I didn’t go down but it was fucking worrying.

The run from here was actually quite nice. We ran through lots of wooded areas and I found my rhythm again.

Hopelessly lost in Ardingly.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

I came out of the penultimate rest stop full of hope and energy. Sure, I had 20 miles ahead of me but I knew that if I focused on moving forward I’d get there and likely not long after midnight.

All I needed was a clear stretch of footpath or road to help me maintain the rhythm I’d built since Tully’s.

It wasn’t to be.

Half a kilometer down the road I came across another muddy path that I slipped on almost instantly. It wasn’t any sort of fall either. I did the splits and then fell backwards onto my hole.

My head dropped a little and I became very fucking angry.

Once I crossed over the mud I took a wrong turn and ended up in the private gardens of a country club. I had a mental image of me buzzing on their bell totally covered in grim and shit only to see them pointing a shotgun through their door at my balls.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

I found the exit after 20 minutes of wondering around hopelessly and suddenly I was on a main road.

Totally fucking lost.

At that point I just broke down in tears. I was weeping like I hadn’t wept since once night in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen out of grief in 2011.

I must have walked for about half a mile just sobbing out of exhaustion/dissapointment/frustration/anger and fuck knows what else.

Luckily a kind lady stopped and asked what was wrong with me. I told her that I was hopelessly fucking lost and was concerned that I was walking back towards Gatwick and the start line.

She pointed the way to Lindfield where I could get back on track. Hope immediately returned and I started sprinting like fuck down the road. I forgot all about the last 70k and just concerned myself with finishing the rest of the challenge.

Running without any hope and little light.

I wish I could say that the race picked up from here, but it didn’t.

I found the path again but by this time it was night and I didn’t have a head lamp. I only had one shitty glowsick to light the way.

My first calamity involved running head first into a steel post.  I was long past the point of restraining my frustration so I screamed “YOU MOTHERFUCKING CUNT!”.

The guys I was running with at the time were quickly losing patience with me and erratic behaviour.

They ran on.

So I stopped again and waited again until I saw the light shining from another head torch. I must have met and lost about 30 separate running groups on my way through those painful few kilometers.

The conversations started and ended with statements like.

“Whatcha doing fella? You hurt?”

“Why are you standing there?!?”

“Well what do we have here Mister? Aren’t you meant to be heading this way!?! ”

“I think you’re hurt. You obviously can’t go on. Wait on the bus!”

It was humilating being out there on my own and my mind was an absolute mess at the time. I was so far from the next rest station that I couldn’t quit without someone coming out to rescue me. I didn’t want that. But at 72km I realised it was the only option.

The ‘rescue’ bus came and my heart sank.

Was I really gonna give up this easily? I’d been talking about the challenge for many months. I owed it to the Northern Ireland Hospice to put in my best effort. Still, I just couldn’t see how I could go on at all after this.

It just seemed absolutely hopeless without any light. And I was tired of asking strangers for help. I was slowing everyone up.

I talked with the rescue guy and said that I’d try to continue. All I could do was focus on babysteps through the mud and the rain.

The neverending battle to 80k.

The lowest point came when I hit a swamp at about 78 or 79k. I had no energy left. I was on the verge of mental collapse. I hadn’t seen anyone else for what seemed like an age. I took one wrong step and slid into the mud again, lost my mind, wore my shoe as a glove and started punching the ground screaming “OM NOM FUCKING NOM. HAVE IT THEN IF YOU WANT IT SO FUCKING BAD YOU FUCKING CUNT”.

This didn’t help my cause. I ran until 80k with a face of full of what looked like shit.

Once again I was ready for quitting. So I just lay there on the ground for about 20 minutes. No one was in danger of seeing me as my one solitary glowstick had burned out with my hope by this point.

Out of nowhere I heard music. I recognised it from the distant past. As the figures in the distance came closer I realised that they were listening to ‘Champagne Supernova’ by Oasis on a mobile phone.

The music stirred some dead hope in my soul. I got up, asked them if I could tag along to 80k and just talked with them for a while.

I got to 80k

It was 1am at this point. I was beyond exhausted. The first aid staff asked if I wanted to quit. I told them that I wouldn’t be making any decisions until I had a bacon butty.

Completing My First Ever 100K Ultramarathon   The London 2 Brighton Challenge 2014

I sat on my own in the food tent trying to continue to down liquids and to eat what I could.

Pure survival mode.

I waited for around an hour before making my start again outside.

I tried my best to begin jogging again but my body forgot how to make the movements. For some reason I was kneeing the air. It just looked all wrong.

The next 7k was so much easier than the last section. No mud and just pure road. I walked and hit 88 as the sun rose and suddenly I knew I was gonna complete the challenge after all.

The next great challenge involved walking up the South Downs, a steep ascent that reminded me of the hills I used to run back up back home. My training helped me out here and I was able to pick up some speed on the uphill stretch and even overtake some people (which hadn’t happened since at least 70k!)

I started running again on and off between 88k and 91 but I had to stop as the blisters on my feet were sore as hell.

From 92k onwards I entered a dream like state. I hadn’t slept in 48 hours and was worried I was gonna totally fucking freak out Barcelona style and the last thing the volunteers needed was a wan Irishman yelling about the dead claiming Sussex as their own.

Finishing.

I finished in 25 hours 58 minutes.

As we crossed the finish line we each were handed a glass of champagne and it was just a lovely reception on a lovely day at Brighton racecourse.

The best bit of the story is that the lady who stopped to ask if I was OK at Ardingly was waiting for me at the finish line.

The whole race was such a formative experience and it’s something that I will look back at with fond memories for a long time – even though most of it was worse than rape.

And you know what? I’m gonna try to make it back next year. The rest stops are the best I have ever encountered and made completion the distance so much easier!

For the rest of the year I’m ‘only’ back to marathon training.

2 Days Until The 100K And I’m Running Garminless For The First Time Since December 2010.

I am definitely not running this 100k with a Garmin.

It will be the only race I have ever started without a watch. The truth is I’m a fucking GPS addict. Every single run I have went on since December 2010 has been with one. It is maybe a little unhealthy.

I stare down at my watch only slightly less regularly than I do with the readout of a treadmill but that’s not saying much as I stare down at the treadmill every few seconds!

I think a watch would be very distracting to me in this situation. I just need to focus on moving forward to Brighton. I will pack myself some truffles and a few cans of Jack Daniels and Coke for the finishing at Brighton racecourse to inspire me on to glory.
2 Days Until The 100K And Im Running Garminless For The First Time Since December 2010.

Maybe a few Cheestrings too for the memory.

I will stay around for a while in Brighton. I do love the place and how relaxed it is. We are off for the Bank Holiday on Monday so I won’t come back to London until late Monday.

I really need to fucking relax.

I looked in the mirror for the first time properly in a month and I have got dark rings under my eyes that are sunken as hell. The stress of the race and living in temporary accommodation is taking its toll but at least it is making the book more entertaining.

I’m still alive and kicking though and really proud I managed a 40 mile week out of absolutely nothing last week.

I’ve still got my fight which is all I need and my mind will surely follow.

I think my next move is to find somewhere to stay in Greenwich until the Autumn. I will reactivate my Pure Gym membership and run around the park by morning and/or night. I have loved this place since the first time I came here in my 2nd week in London.

I want to go back to the days of running sub 50 minute 10k’s and feeling excited!

My body gave me a ‘you have not ran in a while’ warning last night. I dreamt that I was running around the Knockagh in Carrickfergus and when I hit the top of the hill I got enveloped by a violent thunderstorm. The electricity from the cloud set my brain on fire and I could see television channels broadcast from distant galaxies and they were full of the same awful puerile shit we get on earth.

2 Days Until The 100K And Im Running Garminless For The First Time Since December 2010.

It was very depressing as it made me realise that we are all very lonely in this Universe even if we aren’t alone.

Only 3 Days Left Until The 100K Now And I’m Gonna Be An Angry Camper.

Well the 100k is only 3 days away and I’m starting to imagine all of the worst case scenarios now.

Fuck it. No point in getting negative. I’ll haul myself through this and May 25th onwards will all be about rebuilding and becoming strong again.

Regardless of how the race pans out I will refrain from drinking my gels and if I am caught short then I’ll only wipe with plants that won’t bite a chunk out of my hole. I might have to bring along a field guide for plants so that I can make a positive identification of the herb before I put it in browntown.

Only 3 Days Left Until The 100K Now And Im Gonna Be An Angry Camper.

To try to make things a little less stressful before the race I have booked a tent in the challenge camp site. I haven’t been camping since I was 14. On that night we were caught out loitering by a patrolling police car around my hometown of Carrickfergus. All 3 of us made a run for it when we saw the car stop. As I was the slowest one of the group I jumped into the tent last and ripped the fuck out of it.

Only 3 Days Left Until The 100K Now And Im Gonna Be An Angry Camper.

I can still hear the cringing tearing noise in my head now. Fortunately for us though the police did not catch us. We weren’t doing anything wrong anyhow. I was just going to the shop to buy cheese.

So yes. I’m gonna be the Angry Camper. I struggle to sleep in my bed at home on most nights so hopefully it won’t be a case of complete insomnia on Friday night.

I have been losing my mind a little with the tapering this week. I am emotional and very self conscious. This will all pass come Sunday. I don’t want to regret the experience so I’m gonna give it my all on the day and just hope for the best.

I’m trying not to lose my mind with my neighbours at the moment. They are French and they are causing a racket. The fucking assholes won’t stop running about upstairs and slamming doors like it is something novel. I don’t need the stress.

As it stands I’d happily just run the 100k tonight as waiting for the day to come is more tiring than the distance itself will prove. It was the same thing with my first ever marathon. I was a total mess before race day and my worries were unfounded.

Seriously though what the fuck have I let myself in for this time?

Yesterday Reminded Me Of How It Felt To Be Fat And A 9 Mile Run To Rise From My Mire.

Yesterday was a sweaty clammy day and I didn’t feel at all comfortable in myself.

This is a shame as it is the first great day we’ve had weather wise in a while in London.

Yesterday Reminded Me Of How It Felt To Be Fat And A 9 Mile Run To Rise From My Mire.

It reminded me of my days when I was very overweight and I refused to take off my coat even indoors as I was that uncomfortable with my body. I’d spend all day every day pulling my shirt down over my rolls of fat. I hated going outdoors as I thought everyone was judging my appearance.

I loved when it rained as I’d have a legitimate explanation as to why my clothes were soaking wet (not with rain but with sweat)

I think that’s why I enjoyed drinking myself to oblivion when I was younger. I never felt comfortable with my body. It was easier to drink to the point where I no longer cared about how I was perceived than to address any deep rooted problems.

Sometimes it is fucking scary to look inward at yourself but it is worth remembering your outside world is largely shaped and controlled by what’s going on inside. The world might seem like an angry or sad place but it might just be coming from you.

It took me to lose my mind in Barcelona to realise this. During that spell I thought it was raining inside my head and that Sinead O’Connor’s version of Nothing Compares 2 U was playing everywhere I went.

Madness.

The truth is that I haven’t gained much weight in the last week or two but I know how these things begin. You put on a few pounds after a lot of bad living and then before you know it you’ve put on 50 pounds and you’re back where you started.

Then in 2 years time you go on another crash diet, lose the weight and gain it all back again with the same bullshit.

All fuelled by self loathing or jealousy.

That’s why I’m really glad that I can run. People ask why I don’t push myself and it is because running has primarily been a balancing force in my life. I have managed to keep the weight I lost off now for 4 years and it hasn’t been because of fad diets. It is all down to eating a little less and moving more.

My aim always has been to try to make running as easy as possible. If it is easier to do them my life is easier by association.

Giving up on running has never been a realistic option for me. I know that at some point down the line I will have to start again and it is so much easier to just maintain a fitness level over a longer period of time than it is to put myself through a month or so of intensive exercise.

Yesterday Reminded Me Of How It Felt To Be Fat And A 9 Mile Run To Rise From My Mire.

That’s why I’m delighted to report that I ate sensibly today and ran 9 miles in 86 minutes around Greenwich Observatory. I might not always improve as a runner but I’m gonna keep fucking trying no matter what.

I’m writing this from a bar called The Lost Hour in Greenwich. It is time to relax then go to bed relatively early and get up for another run.

Why Giving Up On Running Just Doesn’t Work With Me.

Today I convinced myself to stop running until at least the 100k in 12 days time.

I felt a lot of peace for the first time in a while. In truth the only thing that has been putting me off running is the idea that I have to run.

So with my mind assured I got off the train after work at Mornington Crescent and heard something like a whimper inside of me. It was an old angry dog. The old angry dog who loves to run for the hell of it.

Why Giving Up On Running Just Doesnt Work With Me.

When I can’t do something or it is now off limits I actually want to do it! If they’d have prohibited all running in games in school I would probably be a running fucking champ by now.

I want to go back to running for fun. I don’t mind undertaking challenges and pushing myself but the truth is I don’t want to be a fast or strong runner as much as I want to be happy within myself.

And the truth is that when I am happy I naturally run more and become stronger.

That’s why running drills and pushing myself to the brink have never appealed to me that much. I think the only reason that I’ve managed to run over 100 miles in 41 of the last 43 months is that I’ve tried to enjoy it as much as possible. I know where I’ll go back to if I stop running.

And it just won’t happen.

It is just the obligation of running the 100k that kinda fazed me over the past few months. I talked about turning professional at the start of the year and fully intended to spend this year living like a hermit in my hometown for the next year. But I turned 30 and I knew if I didn’t give life a proper shot then I’d seriously fucking regret it.

The worst of the doubt is over. Running and walking the 100k won’t be anywhere near as bad as the self doubt I’ve weathered over the past while.

I will get to Brighton and I will eat fucking chips and I will come back for more.

Why Giving Up On Running Just Doesnt Work With Me.

The only really thing I have going for me is my tenacity. But that’s all I fucking need to be where I want to get to in life.

Back to tonight.

I put on my shoes and ran towards Regent’s Park. I got lost somewhere around NW8 and didn’t stop until I had 8.1 miles in my legs.

Why Giving Up On Running Just Doesnt Work With Me.

Running back onto Camden High Street via Parkway was one of those wank fantasy moments that runners have where the endorphins are turning your brain inside out and you and the universe fuck in the glare of traffic lights.

There was a while where I thought I was in serious trouble of capitulating and giving up on running for good but it just goes to show that I want to continue on with it.

I just need to stop pushing myself to ridiculous extremes. I’m happy to get to the point where I can run marathons casually. That’s always been my end goal.

My plan is to go to Europe for a month and live somewhere beautiful on my own like Crete and do nothing but run. The end goal is to turn this blog into a travel & running website. I’d love to spend a month in every country I’ve ever wanted to live in and really turn this website into a proper freak show.

A 9 Mile Walk Around Some Of The Bleakest Areas In London.

Well it’s another Sunday and another move. This time I’m up to Camden for the week.

A 9 Mile Walk Around Some Of The Bleakest Areas In London.

Moving doesn’t worry me anymore but it is having a serious impact on my running. I kinda need to establish myself in a place so that I know the routes. I can’t just go outside and run anywhere especially in London since the roads are fucking dangerous.

I think it’s time for another house share. The good news is that I might be moving back up to Tottenham again. I want this fucking madness to be over.

I’ve not been as lazy as I could have been this week.

To try to make up for my recent laziness I walked to Camden from Greenwich which is usually about 6 or 7 miles but I accidentally made it 9 with a detour through South Bermondsey.

I know little about Bermondsey other than the guy who gave me my first ever beating supported Millwall and they are based there.

The place is fucking terrifying in reality. I stopped by the Iceland store for some strip cheese and the queue was filled with the walking dead. It’s normal to feel absolutely hopless on a Sunday morning, but I swear I could actually see people aging and dying before my eyes.

The only shops on the high street included a school, banks, a funeral parlour and a betting shop.

A 9 Mile Walk Around Some Of The Bleakest Areas In London.

The cycle of life.

No escape. Belfast has nothing on Bermondsey. Apparently we’re in the middle of an economic upturn but Bermondsey looks like it’s still suffering from the last 5 recessions.

To compound matters, I couldn’t check into my accomodation once I got to Camden as I left my passport in my lockup in Vauxhall.

Arghhhh. That’s 3 times in a week I’ve been to Vauxhall. No man on earth deserves that fate (apart from Morrissey).

A head that won’t shut the fuck up.

A 9 Mile Walk Around Some Of The Bleakest Areas In London.

I think it took me over 3 hours to walk 9 miles but the whole journey was fucking miserable.

I’m just not coping well with the prospect of the 100k. I’ve always known that I’m slightly weak but the last month has taken it out of me mentally.

Everytime I find happiness my brain chips in with “well you shouldn’t be happy as you’ve been one unhealthy cunt since you’ve moved here and your training is barely adequate for a marathon let alone a 100k”.

I know that negative thinking is deterimental to my health. I think that I’m a rational person but sometimes just knowing that it’s deterimental isn’t enough.

Some days it’s almost impossible to shake it off.

The only way to beat it is to get back to living day by day and trying to move into the next morning in a better position than I was in the previous morning.

I’m living in a perpetural state of panic about the race and I keep resorting to comfort foods to calm down. It all feeds into a vicious cycle which is fucking my head up.

That’s why I’m running the 100k without a Garmin. I want to just get to Brighton in one piece. I feel guilty that I’ve been taking you all along on my journey here and I’ve kinda fucked it up.

But it is how it is.

Shaking off the misery.

The end of the night was a riproaring success. I went to Sainsbury’s for supper and paid for a packet of Cadbury’s Giant Buttons with 64 penny coins in a Sainsbury’s self checkout machine.

“Have you swiped your Nectar Card?”

“Have I fuck you robotic cunt!”

For the first time in a week I felt a little peace as I walked around Regent’s Park and just watched the runners going by whilst I ate Cadbury’s Giant Buttons.

5 Periods Of Time As A Runner Which I Hated (Or Hate)

April/May 2014

After working somewhere where our office got repossessed and countless house moves since, I have really struggled with my motivation to run this month.

I often think back to the day where I decided properly to move over here for the first time. It was a Tuesday and I was unemployed and came to the realisation that I’d never be able to make a full time living off the site as I’m too fond of the word cunt.

Anyway on that day I ran 16 miles easily. I had so much hope for my fitness for the 100k.

Since then life and my own compulsive personality have caught up with me and I kinda long to be that fit again.

Kinda filled with regret that I struggle so much with this haha.

May 2011

I lost the plot altogether in May with grief from Dad in March. With the marathon over I headed straight on a holiday to Magaluf that was pretty much disastrous in every way.

5 Periods Of Time As A Runner Which I Hated (Or Hate)

I got home from the holiday and didn’t know what to do with myself. So I stopped running and just drank like a dick.

I went through an awkward music of only listening to dance music which is quite embarrassing now as I have always liked Rock.

October 2011

Still hadn’t acknowledged my grief from Dad and lost my mind on a mad cross country dash through Spain. Missed the Dublin Marathon which was really very humiliating at the same time.

Had to reset my mileage altogether and just start from scratch but I’m many ways I was reborn from that experience.

5 Periods Of Time As A Runner Which I Hated (Or Hate)

April 2013

Paris Marathon brain rape. Had a terrible race where my plastic running bottoms were melting into my skin and I finished in absolute agony. Stressful and shit and ultimately all my own fault.

Summer 2012

I was running 60 miles a week but I was eating so much horrible shit that I was gaining weight and getting slower. Ironically it was around this time that most of you started reading the blog.

So thanks and welcome.

Running When Both Your Legs And Your Heart Is Heavy.

There have been times in the last months where I’ve felt like a complete fucking fraud for writing about health and running when in reality I’ve been struggling so much with everything.

But through it all I’ve realised that my future remains as a runner. Especially with my run yesterday. Christ it’s always the runs that you think will be totally insignificant that prove to be the most important.

I will complete the 100k in 3 weeks time and not take my Garmin watch with me to take the pressure off.

Running When Both Your Legs And Your Heart Is Heavy.

Once the 100k is over I can start back on marathons again and enjoy my training again and rebuild.

I’m never going away.

From this month onwards this blog will be a more fun place to be. I’ve kinda lost my shit too many times here over the past weeks and it’s just not fun for me to write. I’d prefer to write about races I’m excited about rather than races that worry me.

Anyway here are 4 tips on how to keep running when both your heart and your legs are heavy.

How to keep on going when you really wanna just give up.

  1. It’s always easier to keep going - You might miss your target or falter in your training, but there’s no such thing as a lost week until you give in completely. I could have made last week a zero miles week but I got out there and recorded 14. I could look back and think that running 14 miles means nothing to me when training for a 100k, but it’s something to work from. In that sense it’s always better to view a day in terms of what you can gain from it, rather than what you’ll lose from inaction.
  2. Keep perspective of where you’ve come from - I’m 6 marathons and 70lbs away from where I was before, but this can easily change. I’ve saw old elements of myself creeping back in over the last few weeks. It’s a real fucking worry. I think I tend to separate how I am now from how I was then too much. It’s very easy to slip back to how you were. You’re maybe just a month away of bad decisions of going back there. You don’t have to go back though, it’s not inevitable. You’ve gotta fight back and it starts now. It starts with accepting that you’re in the fight of your life though.
  3. Sometimes you’ll be against the ropes - You’ll experience periods where you have will shit runs, feel like absolute shit and want to give up. The true test is persevering and taking any steps you can towards making running easier. For me it starts with my diet as especially at the moment we’re experiencing new levels of junk intake as I eat all that London has to offer.
  4. It’s very tempting to think ‘even if I do go stop running and put on weight, I’ll be able to go back to being fit again easily!” – This is bullshit. I still remember the shin splints I had in 2010 when I was trying to walk 2 miles. To come back from there after being a marathon runner would be seriously difficult. I’ve nothing to gain from becoming totally inactive again. I came to London to grow and to maybe find myself.  I won’t find myself through pies or self pity. I’ve tried that before and it ended like this.
    Running When Both Your Legs And Your Heart Is Heavy.

A 14 Mile Run To Cap Off A Bad Week For Running

Well from tonight I’m back in Greenwich. My spell in South East London is thankfully over.

I haven’t been doing enough training recently. Life has been stressful and I haven’t been coping well with it all.

And I haven’t been coping well with not coping well.

I regret letting ponggate in Sydenham derail my training in April. I should have left after a week and found somewhere more appropriate. The truth is that I didn’t want to run in case I offended them.

A 14 Mile Run To Cap Off A Bad Week For Running

Cocks are sometimes gonna be offended.

I was far too fucking polite with them. They took my duvet from me 3 nights before I was due to leave as they had to ‘prepare it for the next guest.’.  This meant that I had to sleep with only a duvet cover and nothing else.

That takes us back to this week and tonight. I hadn’t completed a single mile until earlier. I wasn’t in the mood to run for a large part of the day as I’d figured I’d already failed myself with this ‘new me in 2014′  shit.

It’s still 2014 and I don’t feel any different. I don’t look any different. I’m still 209lbs. I feel like I’ve failed myself.

Anyway the good news is that I completed 14 miles tonight and enjoyed the run for the first time in ages. I ran to Tower Bridge and back. It was fun up until I hit Tower Bridge itself where I had to deal with 7 people all walking slowly in a line to fuck knows where.

A 14 Mile Run To Cap Off A Bad Week For Running

I did my passive aggressive stamping and rapey breathing to try to get them to shift but they were too busy waiting for the Queen to pop her head out over the top of a fucking tourist bus.

Shower of bastards.

Anyway I’ve capped a bad week off with a good day. The only thing you can do sometimes is to make today good. If you focus on how much you’ve fucked up in the past or will fuck up in the future then you distract yourself from the only day you’ll ever have.

I need to start having more good today’s and worry less about tomorrow.

Why My Problem Isn’t With Running.

My housemates have been having issues with my sweat again.

I came back home last night and I saw that they’d triple bagged my sweaty gear and put up an air freshener on the cabinet.

I’d prefer it if they just put a door mat at the entrance to my room with the words ‘YOU FUCKING STINK!” on it. That way there’d be zero ambiguity.

I don’t give a fuck anymore though, I’m a runner and I stink sometimes. I could be contrite and apologise for my existence and come back with a vase full of daffodils to try to make amends for my sweat.

Why My Problem Isnt With Running.

I could only do with an honest heart if I pissed in the jug before hand. A real taste of an alternative Ulster.

Suck it in. Taste the hate.

Bravado aside, I’ve become that self conscious after their complaints that I’ve started spraying Febreze on my balls before going to work.

If a swarm of militant bees attempt to pollinate my ball sack because of the air freshener, I will be on the phone to ‘Injury Lawyers 4 U’ to make a serious complaint about these cunts.

Running isn’t a problem for me.

Let’s get everything straight, as much as I’ve complained about it recently, running hasn’t been my problem.

I’ve been my own problem.

I think there’s a self destructive element in most human beings and especially within me. Pre-2010 I’d feed into my dark side and celebrate it as my true self by drinking too much and eating like a cunt.

It still exists within me and it’s the part that complains about ‘having’ to run. When I think about it rationally I can see that it’s trying to draw me back into a destructive lifestyle.

The truth is I don’t have to run, but when I do run it makes everything easier in my life. That’s why I’m thinking about quitting ‘racing’ altogether and just coming back in the second half of this year and running totally for fun again.

It needs to become fun again. No more wacky 100k challenges after May until I’m ready for it. I need to enjoy training again.

Above all though I’m not going backwards.

I recognise that running has allowed me to strike a balance so that I can keep the worst side of myself at bay.

In London the temptation has been great to become a wanton depressive alcoholic but my running has meant that I’m often too tired to be depressed for that long.

On a Saturday night after a 15 mile run I’ll have a large sushi tray, a McFlurry and two pints and by that time I’ll want to go home as I won’t be able to keep my eyes open.

It’s good.

And although I’ve felt guilty for faltering somewhat with my ultramarathon training, I know there is no giving up or going back to how I was before.

Earlier this week the woman who helped me through my awful 50k experience posted this picture up on my Facebook Page of us after the race.

Why My Problem Isnt With Running.

It kinda made me realise why I’m running the 100k and why it won’t be such a bad thing after all.

8 Reasons Why I Haven’t Been Enjoying Running Recently.

I was gonna post this originally last week as I was struggling with motivation to the point where I hated every single run.

It still applies a little now but I’ve recovered and enjoyed myself more this week.

But here are 8 reasons why I haven’t been enjoying running recently.

  1. It’s repetitive - ”One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. When’s the next race? What’s the next target?” It gets really boring even if you change the setting and the distance and the schedule. I only enjoy running when I find my inner calm. All of the goals I set myself really ruin it and it is part of the reason I fucking hate it all sometimes.
  2. It’s never ending - You never really hit a point in training where you’re genuinely happy with yourself. Even if you were the best runner in the world and you won marathons you’d still be worried about defending your titles. I have nightmares that I’m not meeting my running goals. Goals remind me too much of school and being depressed.
  3. I’ve been setting myself arbitrary targets - ‘ I need to make a 40 mile week this week or else!’ Or else what? Does any of it really matter? Surely the most important part of running is the act itself? The more I think about running the less I enjoy it. The more I do it without thinking about it the more I love it.
    8 Reasons Why I Havent Been Enjoying Running Recently.
  4. “You have to run!” - I’ve no choice but to run and to try my best for the 100k but at the same time it’s kinda strangling any joy I ever got from my running. My best ever runs are always spontaneous and never part of any training regime. I’m gonna get back there after June though!
  5. Mind numbing – In order to enjoy running you either have to get off on the runners high or on something else around it. If you’re trapped inside your head counting miles like I often am it’s so fucking tedious and boring.
  6. I’m a sweaty motherfucker - I am moving again on Wednesday and it’s largely to do with the fact that I sweat like fuck when I run and that sweat has been annoying my housemates.. I would like to say that I’ve been deliberating trying to annoy them with my sweat in the last week but I haven’t. When I do get outside to run I dream that I’m trampling on their heads and run even further.
    8 Reasons Why I Havent Been Enjoying Running Recently.
  7. It is very hilly around here and I hate finishing a run by going uphill - I normally love the hills but around here you can’t move a mile in any direction without dropping 70m. Sometimes I want to run on flat. When I was running back home I’d do a course where I climbed most of the hills in the early half of the run and finish downhill. I fucking hate the thought of having to climb so much when I’m tired.  I gave in today after 11 miles because of it.
  8. Out of practice and out of confidence - When I say I’m out of practice I’m saying that I haven’t been keeping up with the 50+ mile weeks I had planned for myself when I first came over here. It’s kinda dented my confidence. It all goes back to arbitrary targets I guess.

How Tripping On Magic Mushrooms Is Actually Quite Similar Emotionally To Running A Marathon.

OK I was walking up Sydenham Hill last week and it suddenly occurred to me that the marathon experience is extraordinarily similar to that of the ‘trip’ you have when you take psilocybin mushrooms.

Now I don’t recommend any mushrooms whatsoever. I think assholes like Steve Jobs have a lot to answer for when they shamelessly glorify hallucinogens.

If you want to see the true face of a fucking hippy then have a look at the picture below.

How Tripping On Magic Mushrooms Is Actually Quite Similar Emotionally To Running A Marathon.

That was me 10 years ago. I used to wear those glasses everywhere. I thought they made me look mysterious when they made me look like a special needs Roy Orbison. Just don’t take anything ever kids. 

Anyway what follows is an hour by hour comparison of what you’d normally experience in a marathon and on a trip.

Both usually last for around 4-5 hours and leave you sweating like a rapist.

Pre event Anxiety

T : 0:00

Mushrooms – Anxious. Why the fuck am I doing this? Oh yes, Steve Jobs/Bill Hicks told me to. I think I need to be sick.

Marathon – Anxious. If it goes bad in the middle, how will I survive? Why the fuck am I doing this?

The early ‘wow I’m having the time of my life!” spell.

T: 1:00

Mushrooms – OMG everything is so fucking hilarious! My thoughts are coming out as soap bubbles ROTFLMAO. Why don’t we do this every week?

Marathon – OMG this run is so amazing! I could run for hours! Why don’t we do this every week?

The “oh fuck something isn’t right I’m gonna die” spell.

T: 2:00:3:00

Mushrooms – You hit the crossroads. First pangs of anxiety. You’re listening to Sinead O’Connor in your filthy hippy den and you think you just saw her form skulking in your closet. The walls are breathing again. Are you living in her womb? Are you the demon spawn of the wicked nun from Glenageary?

How Tripping On Magic Mushrooms Is Actually Quite Similar Emotionally To Running A Marathon.

It all makes sense. That’s why you stole all of those cookies from your kitchen when you were a kid. You’re wicked too! No man deserves to be shot out of 2 holes in his life time, but God is making an exception for you. And when you drop out of your new mother’s hole it will sound like an elephant falling arse first into a boom mic.

Marathon – You hit your first period of doubt. Can you keep going for another 2 hours? You didn’t train enough for this race did you? You’re a failure. You’re a waste of space. Go on. Just give up and let the DNF bus pick you up so you can feed your fat face at home.

Salvation

T:3:00-400

Mushrooms – The trip has peaked. The worst of the experience is over. You’ve realised that Sinead O’Connor is actually your old tennis racquet and that everything will be OK. You will get through this experience. You’re starting to see the warm, funny side of things again. You’re even thinking about ordering a pizza. What have you learned from the experience? Nothing. You could harp off that Bill Hicks hippy shit about how we’re all energy combined but everyone with half a fucking brain knows that’s all fucking hippy bullshit.

Marathon – You’ve hit the wall but you’re reaching the end of it now and your gradually getting closer to 26.2. You know you can make it. Hope cracks a hole through the mist of your heart and you see through new eyes. The fear and the doubt still lingers, coming back in waves but you have it. You think back to all of the hard work that you put into your training and you feel proud of yourself.

The beautiful, beautiful afterglow.

Finish mushrooms – Reborn. Vow to never shave your beaver again. Will join a Peruvian pipe band and cut the ass out of all your best jeans.

How Tripping On Magic Mushrooms Is Actually Quite Similar Emotionally To Running A Marathon.

Finish marathon – Reborn. Vow to shave your beaver immediately after the race since you got a bit of your bush caught in a fence at mile 22. You’re euphoric for a day, then you experience the post marathon blues. That’s when you enter another 10 fucking marathons like the addict you are.

Now just in case you’re thinking of taking magic mushrooms, please consult this picture.

How Tripping On Magic Mushrooms Is Actually Quite Similar Emotionally To Running A Marathon.

 

12 Ways That Running Is Uncannily Similarly To Chronic Alcoholism

Unfortunately the weather was really shitty here in London today so I’ve postponed my long run until tomorrow morning when it’s set to be a whole lot better.

Now for something a little different tonight, here are 12 ways that running is uncannily similar to chronic alcoholism.

    1. You sometimes get a very dry mouth as a runner and an alcoholic - I find myself reaching for cans of Dr Pepper too often to cure the awful post run thrist much like I did when I was drinking a bottle of whiskey at the weekend. Drinking water seems like too much of a chore compared to opening up a delicious can.
      12 Ways That Running Is Uncannily Similarly To Chronic Alcoholism
    2. Running, like alcohol, enhances your mood instantly - But when you can’t run you’d better watch the fuck out. Even worse is the post run depression that leave you feeling bereft of joy without exactly knowing why. And so the whole horrible cycle begins again with a vengeance.
    3. You will find new situations to run in like an alcoholic finds new reasons to drink - ‘A 5k where we all dress like nuns and chase otters with plastic dicks!?!? I’m in buddy! Make mine a double! (dong)’
    4. You wake up in the middle of the night a lot with pain - With alcoholism your pain is usually emotional “Oh Christ, why the fuck did I shit in the rabbit’s hutch again last night whilst watching the golf? Poor Fluffy 12 Ways That Running Is Uncannily Similarly To Chronic Alcoholism ‘. As a runner it’s not uncommon to go into cramps in the wee hours and wake up in agony.
      12 Ways That Running Is Uncannily Similarly To Chronic Alcoholism
    5. You become dependent on the buzz - It gets to the point where you can’t feel like yourself without a run. Who the fuck am I and what the fuck have you done with my head?
    6. You try to encourage friends into your world of addiction so that you feel less alone - “Go on! Come out with me on one run! It won’t hurt you! Look at me! I’m happy like this!”
    7. Alcoholics and runners alike turn to groups - Alcoholics have 12 step programs, runners have their clubs. Regardless of where you are in your life it’s vital to belong to something.
    8. It’s the first thing you think of in the morning - ’Do I run or not? Can I fit in a quick run before work? No-one will notice and it’ll stop all of the horrible shit in my head for at least a microsecond.’.
    9. You have a distinctive smell - Alcoholics smell like breweries and dead cats, runners smell like sweaty burning meat. Either way, it isn’t exactly sexy is it?
      12 Ways That Running Is Uncannily Similarly To Chronic Alcoholism
    10. One is never enough - You swore that you’d only run mile but before you know it you’re on your 20th and there seems to be no sign of you giving up.
    11. You become very defensive about your addiction and play down any of the negative aspects of it - Sure you might have lost all of your toenails to running but you’ll quickly counter anyone who suggests that it isn’t very good for you. ‘How can something that feels so good be so wrong? It’s my body, I can do what the hell I want with it!
    12. You frequently question your own sense of self worth both as an alcoholic and as a runner - ’I only ran X miles at X min/mile pace. I’m worthless even compared to one legged Jimmy around the corner who can run twice as fast with half the legs. I’m gonna give up altogether and just join the fucking circus!’

Casting Aside My Fear Of The 100K And Continuing On With A 50 Mile Week.

I’m sorry for the lack of updates this week, the last couple of days have been hectic in work and trying to find time to update the blog as well as run and write the book has been a major fucking challenge.

After seemingly months of being terrified of the looming 100K race on May 24th I’ve finally came to the conclusion that it isn’t worth worrying about.

Casting Aside My Fear Of The 100K And Continuing On With A 50 Mile Week.

I’ve spent days literally incapacitated with fear. Days wasted where instead of running I’d go to the West End to drink to forget and feel 100x worse the next morning.

This fear hasn’t helped me as a runner. I’ve given in to it all too often and arguably made matters worse for myself.

I’m casting it aside for now and trying to do what I can to make things better.

I want running to be fun again.

I don’t think I’m anywhere fit enough to run a 100K race. I’ve been doing 40-50 mile weeks for quite some time now but I haven’t ran past 18 miles in ages.

It makes the whole challenge seem pretty fucking daunting to me. I wake up every single morning and think “100k….oh fuck.”. It’s not something that excites me anymore.

I dread it, it’s shit and I hate it.

When I started marathon training for the first time I never really felt like completing 26.2 was a truly impossible feat. I knew that if I kept to a training regime I’d cross the line at the end.

With this 100k it’s completely different. I’ve ran a 50k race before and it was rape like.

Is this gonna be twice that and worse?

I’m trying my best to stay positive and to keep moving forward. This week I’m aiming for 50 miles ran and 30 miles walked. Yesterday alone I ran 16 miles and walked 8.

But still. This isn’t fun. I’m not enjoying any of it. It’s all fucking toss and I’m not running an ultramarathon again after the 100K until I can at least properly complete a 26.2.

I’m attempting to see the 100k in a new light.

I know this negativity isn’t serving me well. It’s bringing me down and I am probably over thinking it at the minute.

It won’t be about pain or torture.

It will be about making my way slowly towards Brighton over the large part of a day.

And once this is all fucking over I can get back to enjoying races and not waking up every day with a shadow looming over me.

Perhaps that shadow will always be there regardless, I don’t know.

I don’t care.

Running My First 40 Mile Week Since Brighton And 14 Facts You Probably Didn’t Want To Know About Me.

After the horror of being told by my landlord that I was a big smelly bastard I somehow recovered from the embarrassment of it all and recorded my first 40+ mile week since Brighton.

It is all thanks to two great long runs this weekend.

Yesterday I completed 18.34 miles and today I did 11.7. Neither were particularly fast but it feels great to get the miles in after all of the initial pain.

The downside to all of my weekend running is that I am totally fucking exhausted now.

For that reason I thought I’d instead write something more fun this week. Here are a few facts that you might not know about me. Some of them are about running but most of them aren’t.

1) I wore the same pair of waterproof plastic running trousers for 2 years straight. On every single run. I only threw them out after the Paris Marathon when they were burning into my flesh from the heat. Those fucking things smelled disgusting.
2) I used to be a very angry atheist but now I am more relaxed about belief. My religion is staring at the sky whilst drunk. If there is a God then it is Professor Brian Cox. I’m slightly ashamed by how hardline I was in my mid twenties. I kinda gave up on it all when Hitchens died. I was Cologne eating a Kebab pizza at the time when I heard the news. I threw it out the window in disgust.
Running My First 40 Mile Week Since Brighton And 14 Facts You Probably Didnt Want To Know About Me.

3) I used to be a Goth. I’d go around a very politically conservative town dressed in PVC jeans, sunglasses and a pirate shirt. So far I’ve only taken 2 beatings in my life which is a fucking miracle. The most memorable incident involved getting hit in the back of the head with a bottle in Lavery’s whilst dancing to Transmission by Joy Division. I had to get my head stapled.
4) I struggled to run half a mile right up until December 2010. My first few runs were from my work to the train station which was just over 0.5 miles. I seriously doubted that I could ever go any further than that. I’d always run in my work clothes and overtake the same old lady who would shout ‘Hiya Matt!’. I’d ignore her because I’m an emotional leper.
5) I didn’t have a passport until I was 26 years old. I hadn’t left the UK or Ireland until July 2010. On my first major holiday I decided to become a marathon runner.
6) I didn’t start drinking until I was 19. I used to be against alcohol and drinking culture especially in high school. Then I discovered the joys of Lambrini. Drinking became boring when I discovered that you could buy Mexican Cubensis at the local headshop for £10. I spent 2003 stoned off my head listening to George Carlin. Great times. That was until the night I was tripping and my mum sent me down to the shop to buy Malteasers for her. I freaked out on the way down thinking that there were neon goldfish trapped in the pavement. I brought her her Malteasers holding them out like I was a cat with a sacrificial mouse. She suspected nothing but I was dreadfully paranoid that she could see through my soul.
Running My First 40 Mile Week Since Brighton And 14 Facts You Probably Didnt Want To Know About Me.

7) An Italian man once offered me his breakfast muffin on the plane when he saw that I was crying because of turbulence. I kindly refused but my faith in humanity was restored.
8 ) I totally fucking hated high school. I was separated from my most of my friends so I found it quite difficult to fit in. Only worthwhile thing I learned there was contempt for authority. I still feel very angry about my time there but channel it all into my running.
9) I still don’t know what really triggered my move to London. I was happy at home for the first time in ages but something was pulling me here. I had planned on coming over in November 2013 but I just didn’t have the balls to do it.
10) I am not actually that angry of a person. If I do get frustrated with shit but I try to let out anger quickly and proportionately. With that said, sometimes I do want see people being decapitated by doors on the Tube when they don’t let me off first.
11) I don’t really get injured very often as I’m a lazy runner. I always try to move less when I am running. I dream of one day being able to nap whilst jogging. That would make the miles coast by for sure!
12) I was born with a squint. Basically my right eye was trying to squat in my right eye socket. I got it fixed when I was 3 but have been left with a lazy eye ever since.
Running My First 40 Mile Week Since Brighton And 14 Facts You Probably Didnt Want To Know About Me.

13) I have created about 50 websites before and most of them have been miserable failures. My final year project in college was a website where people could create their own religion. It drew a lot of complaints at the time because a) it was shit and b) you could attach sins to your religion and the most common transgression on the site was ‘Masturbation’. This site was visible to all current and PROSPECTIVE students as well as lecturers. For my presentation about my website I brought in 5 loaves of bread and 2 skanky rainbow trout for everyone to eat. It really wasn’t a good fucking idea. Everyone just stared at me like I was a dick.
14) I tried standup comedy at an open night in Belfast once but it was a fucking disaster. I got banned from The Belfast comedy scene after I turned up to a comedy special at the Safehouse Arts Gallery extremely drunk. I heckled absolutely everyone and fell down 5 stairs on my way out. A class act for sure.
15) I do worry that I’m repeating myself on this blog a lot which is why I decided to go for something different tonight. I hope you enjoyed it.

An Excellent Comeback Run Through Sydenham & Rest Night Anxiety.

It has been a week of highs and lows but fortunately everything is getting better as the week progresses.

Last night I went out for a 10 mile run around Sydenham Hill and fucking aced it.

You know how sometimes you have 2 or 3 really bad runs in a row and think it is all gonna come to an end soon? Well this run made me realise why I run.

The air was thick with summer. The squirrels were out having a picnic. I saw a fox come out of the hedgerow by Cox’s Walk.

An Excellent Comeback Run Through Sydenham & Rest Night Anxiety.

Idyllic. I almost regret terminating my lease here in the flat early as it is lovely to run in this part of the city.

I should have sucked it up when my landlord told me that I smelled worse than Communism.

Ah well. No use crying over sweaty knickers is there?

The funniest bit of the run was storming down the hill past some club runners who were going uphill. I think I said ‘heyyyy!’ to every one that I ran past. They did not share my enthusiasm as they were too busy catching their breath.

I wanted to speed up as I passed the strongest runners and scream “who is the fucking slow coach now you motherfuckers!!’. Thankfully I didn’t as I am still clinging to my last shred of dignity as a man.

Anyway tonight was my night off from exercise and I thought I’d describe a typical rest night for me.

Walk out of work at about 6pm. Go to the M&S store for dinner. I try to eat healthily but tonight I had 2 cookies and a Madagascar Fudge Bar for tea.

An Excellent Comeback Run Through Sydenham & Rest Night Anxiety.

Got on Tube at Brixton to Camden via Euston.

Get to Camden for the Happy Hour at the Stables Market. Had a £3 tray of Indian food. Instantly regret it and think that this is no way to treat my body as a runner. I am a fucking fraud. I should not be offering people life tips on my website when I’m living like this.

The only way to mask my disappointment with myself is to have a pint. So I had a fruit beer at The Ice Wharf at Camden and leave for home about half an hour later.

Manage to avoid hot dog stall on the way back to the tube station.

Victory.

Manage to avoid Krispy Kreme at Victoria.

Victory.

Manage to trip over my feet whilst boarding the train back to Sydenham Hill.

D’oh.

The crappy thing about my nights off is that I am really aware of how I abuse my body at times. Instead of nipping it in the bud I think ‘ah well the damage is done, bring on dessert number 2′.

I wish I wasn’t this way. I know I joke about it but Christ it is a drag sometimes.

I wish I could be at ease with myself.

I wish I could relax and not think about how I will regret it all come morning.

And on that note I am a going to bed now as I have a run early tomorrow morning!

The Day That I Gave Up Running For 17 Years.

I used to love to play hide and seek (or haunts as we called it) almost every day up until the age of 10.

The Day That I Gave Up Running For 17 Years.

Back then it seemed as if I could run forever in the long summer nights that only ended with the sun dying and mother screaming “MATTHEW! GET IN!”.

My love for haunts ended suddenly one night when some local tough guys saw me running through their patch of the hood and came after on their bikes.

They tailed me for about half an hour and did nothing but poke at me and laugh. I was the kid that would always cry a lot. The fucking cry baby. Back then my nickname was ‘Water Works’. The kids would shout shit like.

Aw he’s gonna cry, here comes the water works again from the Water Works.

Anyway on that night I ran into the local video store and tried to hide there for a few minutes but they were waiting for me outside.

The owner quickly threw me out as I was crying and making his store all sweaty. I wanted him to phone the police but he thought it was funny more than anything.

The video store owner was well known in the neighbourhood for selling multicoloured popcorn that would dye your shit all the colours of the rainbow.

He was therefore of ill repute.

The Day That I Gave Up Running For 17 Years.

The little bastards followed me half way home and continued with their mocking. I kept crying.

At the time it was highly traumatic but thinking back it is all rather funny.

I never played haunts again after that day.

This is formative in my memory for being the time I stopped running regularly, right up until 2010.

I could blame the kids for being mean and making me afraid to run thereby resulting in me becoming fat and depressed in my 20′s but that’s silly.

I should have stood up for myself and screamed ‘fuck off you little arseholes! I will run where I want to!’

That way the angry jogger would have been born 17 years ahead of schedule and I might have actually ran a sub 4 hour marathon by now.

The morale of this rather pointless tale is to never let anyone stop you from doing what you love in life, even if they call you names and tail you on their bikes for an hour or more.

You’ll regret it when you’re fat and old.

I Am A Runner And Yes I Smell (Sometimes)

This morning at 7:30am I received this SMS from my new landlord.

Can you come down to the kitchen urgently Matt, we need to discuss something that is affecting all of the people in the house.

It struck fear into my heart. Had someone in the house taken ill overnight? Had I left the front door open?

It turns out that my sweat from running has been affecting everyone in the house like Agent Orange in ‘Nam.

My first reaction was utter shame and embarrassment. The landlord saw this and offered some support with “don’t worry about this Matt but what can we do about your sweat?”

I didn’t know how to respond. I was livid with myself and the whole fucking situation.

The first words out of my words were ‘Can I have my deposit back please?’

I could understand if I’d left the room or the house in a mess but I haven’t. In fact I’m hardly there at all and when I am here I’m tidy.

The fact is that the exchange made me very small. I was being talked down to like I was a fucking child. And the best way to wind me up is to patronise me.

‘Do you use deodorant Matt? ‘

‘ Yes but only as a sweetener for cake and to taser the ferrets that are fucking up your precious fucking lawn.’

I Am A Runner And Yes I Smell (Sometimes)

I’ll be the first to admit my appearance at the minute is a little grotty. I’ve been wearing the same Primark suit jacket that has seen me through 2 months of nights out on the West End.

I am also trying to work a new schedule for my laundry since moving house.

That said I do shower at least once a day. If I run in the morning I scour all of my key areas with much vigour. So much vigour that I often make myself late for the train (which I have to run for in my grotty old Primark suit jacket making me even sweatier).

I was very down for most of today as I really loved living there for the first 5 nights. 

I also felt hopeless and worthless.

But I can’t stay here if my musk is annoying people.

My action plan is as follows.

I will try to suppress my cock fumes as much as humanely possible over the next week and use Febreze on the wrinkles of my ball bag to air out any unwanted whiffs or pongs.

I Am A Runner And Yes I Smell (Sometimes)

I will start searching again for a new place.

I will keep training for the 100k but at the moment the thought of it is killing any happiness that comes my way.

What I won’t do is stay down on myself. I will find somewhere more suitable to live and I will settle again.

I actually am starting to miss Tottenham now.

Only Managed A 14.7 Mile Long Run This Week & A Little Bit About My Usual Post Run Antics.

This week has been a really poor one for running, exercise and health largely because of my move across London. Here’s hoping that I get settled very quickly in this area so that I can build my mileage back up.

It hasn’t all been bad though!

A 14.7 mile run on Saturday

Yesterday I went out and ran my first long run in Dulwich. It was a 14.7 miler around Crystal Palace and Dulwich Park.

It was an enjoyable apart from encountering a dog that was off it’s lead on my second lap of Crystal Palace Park. I honestly thought it was gonna fucking bite me so I squirted some of my water into it’s ugly face.

I wanted to scream “WOOF YOU CUNT!” at it as a final insult to it and it’s bitch of a mother, but I’m worried that I’m gonna take a beating soon if I keep this aggression up.

I fled the park like a pussy after this nasty encounter which was a pity as it’s quite beautiful around there on a sunny day.

Only Managed A 14.7 Mile Long Run This Week & A Little Bit About My Usual Post Run Antics.

Post run fun.

After my long run I had a half hour long shower. It was glorious but I was so dehydrated that I started drinking the water straight from the head.

Once out of the shower I couldn’t handle the thirst anymore so immediately knocked back two Monster Rehab teas in just over a minute.  My hydration regime is as bad as my diet as you might have guessed.

Then as per usual on a Saturday night I took the train into London Victoria, bought a Cookie Crunch Krispy Creme Donut in the station and walked into the city centre along Victoria Street and past the Houses of Parliament.

I hung around Big Ben until it struck 7.

Only Managed A 14.7 Mile Long Run This Week & A Little Bit About My Usual Post Run Antics.

It’s pretty fucking haunting.

From there I went up Whitehall, The Strand and Trafalgar Square before stopping up at Chipotle for a dinner that consisted of a beef bowl and a Margarita.

It was delicious but I might have drank the Margarita a little too quickly. I was still thirsty as hell after the long run.

From there it was into McDonalds for a delicious Creme Egg McFlurry to cool my tongue from all the spicy food.

Only Managed A 14.7 Mile Long Run This Week & A Little Bit About My Usual Post Run Antics.

The rest of the night was quite calm. In my 20′s a night on the town would have ended with me drinking 10 pints of beer and vomiting afterwards.

Nowadays I enjoy taking things easier with 2 or 3 pints over the course of a night. Maybe I’m becoming a boring cunt? I dunno. But I’m happier this way.

I’d rather enjoy the city and not feel like death in the morning.

The truth is that I have changed so much in 3 years. I can’t keep track of myself.

I do have moments where I stop and think “I don’t know who the fuck I am anymore!”

And it’s true. I don’t fucking know.

But you know what? I probably never really have known who I am.

Ultimately you are who other people tell you you are, but who are they?

All I know is that I fell out of some sort of hole in 1984 and I’ve been existing ever since then.

I have a name, a reflection and compulsions but none of them really mean anything to me.  All just stats and happenstance.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I started running to try to help find out who I am and now I’m further than ever from an answer.

But I’ll be your Mother if you call strap a bra on me and call me Kevin.

Alive And Kicking In West Dulwich. This Post Is About Why Worrying About Races Is Ultimately Useless.

On Monday morning I moved out of my house in Tottenham and brought my huge rucksack containing all of my worldly possessions with me on my rush hour commute on the Victoria Line.

That was not fucking fun.

Thankfully I got a seat but since there was no luggage space I had to keep my backpack on which meant my body was hanging precariously over the edge.

Alive And Kicking In West Dulwich. This Post Is About Why Worrying About Races Is Ultimately Useless.

At Finsbury Park about 140 motherfuckers all got on at once one fellow (read: cunt) went as far as to push me back into my seat.

Sorry cunt, but if I moved that way I’d be doing porno.

Monday was probably the best day of the week. I was dreading the move but when the morning came I relished the uncertainty of it all. On that same day I was offered a room in a house that I snapped up and celebrated by staying overnight in a hotel.

It was great being able to use my own en-suite bathroom for once. I’ve been very self conscious about waking other house guests up with thunder in the night.

New digs and another new start.

I’ve been living here in West Dulwich now for the last 3 nights and it’s been great. The area is ideal for running even if it is taking a while getting used to all of the hills.

On my first night here I wanted to go out for dinner to celebrate but I couldn’t find anywhere suitable so instead had a packet of pickled onion Monster Munch and a pint of Aspall Cider in Dulwich Wood House.

Alive And Kicking In West Dulwich. This Post Is About Why Worrying About Races Is Ultimately Useless.

Yesterday I went out at 6am and ran 9.2 miles at an unconvincing pace of 9:58 min/mile.

I do worry I’m going backward again.

My mind is too much of a mess at times and I sometimes think I need some some sort of fucking help that doesn’t involve 12 steps, Jesus or marijuana.

The truth is I’m still settling. 5 house moves in 8 weeks is unsettling.

I could have stayed at home running laps of my provincial town for the next 40 years but I wouldn’t have solved anything in my life.

I’m happy here when I’m not panicing about the 100k race.

Worrying makes me less willing to run. I fall into the trap of thinking like this.

“Well what’s the fucking point of running now? You haven’t trained enough! You were meant to be extraordinarily fit by now but yet here you are sweating about the thought of having a wank. You disgust me. At this stage of training you’re pissing into the wind and that breeze is gonna turn into a gale someday. “

Those thoughts are absurd. First of all I AM me for fucks sake. Who the fuck am I arguing with?

Secondly I’ve felt this way about every single race I’ve entered before. I remember running the Belfast Marathon for the first time and being incapacitated with fear that I hadn’t trained enough.

So I talked myself out of running when I could and should have ran.

When it came to race day I was filled with regret that I didn’t run on those occasions. I don’t wanna feel like that at the 100k. I’m probably ridiculously ill-prepared for it but I’m not giving it or giving up or fucking off.

I’m here to stay cunts.

Worrying doesn’t help but running does.

Guess what I’m gonna be doing over the weekend?

P.S. If you’re feeling generous today you can sponsor me on my 100k London 2 Brighton challenge over on Justgiving.

Any donations are greatly appreciated.

A Post About Not Exercising And The Excuses I Used To Make To Escape It.

It has been a strange week. I started it off by running my fastest ever 10k in the gym and have ended it by not running at all this weekend.

The reason why I haven’t been jogging is that I’m searching for a new flat and have spent the last 2 days outside knocking on strangers doors seemingly for shits and giggles.

I’m taking this very seriously as if I move to an area that’s runner friendly then I’ll want to do more of it! Tottenham really isn’t the best place for running. There are far too many roads and a lot of the area is reasonably fucking grim.

A Post About Not Exercising And The Excuses I Used To Make To Escape It.

I have kinda fallen in love with Sydenham Hill in South East London. I went there today for a viewing and was amazed that somewhere like that could exist in the town.

If I could move there then I think I could so easily settle down. That’s all I want now. Some fucking sanity.

Some fucking consistency with the running.

Anyway in tonight’s post I will talk about the various excuses I have used in the past not to exercise.

I tend to forget that there was a time not so long ago where I’d have used any excuse to get out of moving. Here is some of the shit I used to tell myself.

I’ve tried to exercise before and failed – I’d failed with so many crash diets and strenuous exercise regimes in the past that I believed I could never be successful. I never gave myself enough time to change though. That was the missing ingredient. When you’re obese you want to shed weight as quickly as possible otherwise it seems hopeless. You quickly realise that it isn’t sustainable and you need to find another path. I never knew there was another path though. That’s why I hate all of those all or nothing TV health cunts that preach 10000 sit ups a day and seaweed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They mislead so many people.

It takes far too long to exercise – Why would I want to waste 60 minutes on exercise that I could use to eat cake or bitch on Facebook about how no one understands me? Exercise doesn’t have to take long. If you move for 10 minutes more a day then you can build up on that and over time grow your fitness. When I was 280lbs I started off by walking for 2 miles on a Saturday at a very slow pace and built up from there.

Health fanatics are fundamentally different from me - Health freaks are no different from you other than that they have grown into the habit of exercise. It will come to you if you give it enough time.

I will get healthier later - This is a likely story. I’d been waiting on the moment to get healthier for 10 fucking years and it never happened until I took that first step for myself after my piss started reeking of Sugar Puffs. You might delude yourself into believing that you will change when someone comes into your life or your find a new job but it won’t happen unless you make it happen.

I’m destined to be fat - This is a great excuse as it means you don’t have to try and you can complain about your genetics. Destiny is such a sour motherfucker isn’t it? The only thing is that there is no such thing as destiny. You can choose to improve your life now or you can make it worse through your choices. You’re 100% in control of what happens next.

People will laugh at me for exercising - No they won’t. And even if they did laugh why should it matter to them? If you’re trying to improve your health then any decent person will support you (unless you’re improving your fitness by vigorously masturbating into public landfill sites moments after dawn.)

A Post About Not Exercising And The Excuses I Used To Make To Escape It.

Losing All Hope In Northern Ireland And Coming Through The Other Side.

In the winter of last year my spirit was broken. It wasn’t so much any one thing. The journey into work each morning was insufferable. I’d traveled that same route for 10 fucking years.

It wasn’t just the commute into work at the time, it was everything.

Losing All Hope In Northern Ireland And Coming Through The Other Side.

For my last 2 months of in Northern Ireland I’d be constantly on the verge of panic attacks thinking that I wouldn’t be able to live there for the rest of the week let alone the rest of my life.

Similarly I couldn’t make it until 10am most mornings in work without going to the toilet where I’d sit on the seat with my head in my hands wondering how the fuck it came to this.

I felt guilty as hell for hating a job that I should have loved. I regretted resigning from a position that I did love for this.

I’d fucked everything up beyond repair and I only had myself to blame for being weak and ungrateful.

Most of all, I cursed myself for not having the guts to follow my heart and my dreams and move to England.

I just didn’t know what the hell to do.

It’s a lonely place when you’re despondent and have no answers. Who do you go to? What do you say? How do you say it? When do you say it?

It’s terrifying when you only have the past for reference when it comes to thinking about your future, especially if your past hasn’t been great. Fortunately with all of the running and travelling I’ve done over the past years I still had some hope that my life could turn out well.

Losing All Hope In Northern Ireland And Coming Through The Other Side.

I was worried that the last of that hope was gonna soon extinguish.

Then what would I have? A chip on my shoulder for the rest of my life.

I was frightened by the thoughts in my head. I wanted to retreat within myself and never talk again. I started cursing myself for ever having hope that my life could be different from the others I saw around me.

It’s not that I wanted to be different for the sake of being different. I just didn’t want to be married. I didn’t want to die in the same estate I was born in. I didn’t want a house, a mortgage, kids, to be tied in fucking chains for eternity+1.

I wanted to build a life that was worth living.

I didn’t give a shit what others thought about that life or my dreams. I fucking hated those who would label me a freak mainly because their lives were so incredibly fucking dull that it hurt to acknowledge them let alone talk to them.

I wanted to find my own bliss. I wanted to recapture that August morning in Munich when I’d checked out of my hotel, had the sun at my back and was heading to Zurich alone with my backpack on. The possibilities were endless.

And then one morning in January all my hope had died.

But so had my fear.

I left the job, came up with the idea of writing my book full time for a few months and then eventually went through with the move to London.

Sometimes letting go of hope can be pretty fucking healthy. If there is no hope in your current situation, then you have the power to actually do something positive to change it even if it seems really fucking scary at the time.

P.S : I ran 8 miles today. My legs moved..

6 Ways Being A Runner Has Helped Me Settle Into London.

I won’t lie, I’m on a bit of a downer tonight after a great weekend in Brighton.

Still. It could be worse and this shitty mood will pass. Just typing these words is helping me through it as we speak.

Anyway in tonight’s post I’ll be talking about the ways running has helped me with integrating into London.

1) The pace of life in London is frantic and it’s great being able to keep up with it – Sure enough I might have got my head closed in a door at Canary Wharf in my 2nd week here, but being a runner has enabled me to catch trains and buses I’d have otherwise had no chance of catching. That said, running did not save me from my catastrophe this morning coming off the Brighton train at VIctoria. I missed a step and basically fell out of the train into this guy. I said sorry to him and pretended to be injured. I limped up to the barriers before stopping my act after I got to the Krispy Kreme stall. If he sees me again he is bound to smother me with towels.

6 Ways Being A Runner Has Helped Me Settle Into London.

2) When you’re searching for a new home being able to run is great for exploring areas to live – All I fucking need is a park and some squirrels and I’m a happy little badger. You can easily get a feel for an area as you run through it, much more than if you were to just drive through the neighbourhood.

3) Having a good general level of fitness allows you to save money on transport – This is very important if you are new to town and are on a tight budget! It is great being able to see where tube stations are physically in London instead of just depending on those maps to navigate.

4) When I run i can work through the problems that most Londoners face without capitulating – I won’t lie, there have been times where I’ve felt completely fucking overwhelmed in London. A run will typically help me see the problem in context and propose a solution that doesn’t involve streaking my pubes blonde before getting a one way flight back to Belfast.

5) Having long runs to do at the weekend keeps a resemblance of order in my life – Otherwise I’d probably spend my weeks surfing around Camden pissed off my head like all the other cunt dandies.

6 Ways Being A Runner Has Helped Me Settle Into London.

6) Running is a great way to channel your psychopathic fucking hatred of commuters into something positive – I came to London expecting to find a new calmer, more dignified version of myself. What has surfaced in the past 6 weeks is some odd type of tunnel beast who snarls at fuckers who have the audacity to board the tube before everyone leaves. Running calms me down enough to see the bigger picture otherwise I’d probably be in Holloway by now.

Running The Brighton Half Marathon 5 Weeks Too Late & Settling Down In England.

Today I managed to run the Brighton Half Marathon that I missed 5 weeks ago.

It was a shit run in all fairness as the weather turned fucking nasty halfway through but I’m delighted that I had the strength to continue on for the entire 13.1 miles especially after running 18.5 miles yesterday.

I even beat last year’s time of 2:07:07 running the 13.19 miles in 2:06.

The best part of the run was jogging up and around the hills in the city centre.  I don’t particularly give a fuck about architecture or any of that shit but the centre of Brighton is beautiful.

I had the idea at mile 11 to start to run uphill as it would mean that the last mile would be downhill. The 12th mile took me 10:40 and it was the most difficult of the run.

I’m almost certain I ran past David Attenborough on that last downhill stretch. He was carrying a huge white bag and I wanted to pat him on the back and say “well done big man!” but he would have heard my Irish accent and rightly assumed I was gonna rob him.

After finishing the run I went for some chips on the Pier.

Running The Brighton Half Marathon 5 Weeks Too Late & Settling Down In England.

It made me realise that I love this place even if it is a filthy hippy Mecca. The next time I will be down here will be in 2 months time directly after the 100k race. Fuck knows what state I’ll be in.

But I’ll be glad to be back.

Anyway I’ve been reflecting tonight on missing the Brighton Half Marathon 5 weeks ago. Today I redeemed myself with that run and I’m gradually getting stronger again as a runner and I’m feeling more settled here on the mainland!

Here’s my UK mainland story up until this point.

I came over here with no job and maybe a month’s savings at best. It wasn’t a calculated decision. I’d just had enough one afternoon and thought “why not just catch a plane you silly dickhead!?”

So I caught the plane, spent the first week in Wimbledon and applied for jobs all day. I’d typically conduct telephone interviews in the Montagu Pyke at Charing Cross Road where I’d sit down with a pint of Old Rosie and chat on the telephone with anyone who was interested in my CV.

I couldn’t run much as I was worried about missing phone calls from recruiters. It kinda sucked but it was a necessity at the time.

Anyway in the first week I ran 36 miles including 2 runs in Wimbledon and 1 in Greenwich.

I missed the Brighton Half Marathon as I had to move out of my accommodation on the day of the race. There was no other way around it but to give the run a miss.

The next week was spent in a hostel in Greenwich. I was terrified that I was gonna wank all of my money away so the hostel was a cost saving exercise.

Running The Brighton Half Marathon 5 Weeks Too Late & Settling Down In England.

My hatred for my dorm mates fuelled me on and I ran 47 miles that week & I got a job offer.

Then I was off to Peckham. I started the job on Monday and ran only 8 miles. This is when I hit my lowest point. I wasn’t running, I was eating too much and I was losing interest in the 100K challenge altogether.

The main reason why I didn’t run much at all there was that I was fucking terrified of the area. There was no way in hell that I was gonna run at night time around there.

Running The Brighton Half Marathon 5 Weeks Too Late & Settling Down In England.

So I hit quite a low point in Peckham. A slump even.

And I’ve never worked my way out of a rut by feeling sorry for myself. That Sunday I moved to Tottenham and joined the gym at the Oval and life has been so much better since then.

I’ve settled down quite a lot in my last 3 weeks and have jogged over 50 miles every week in that time. I try to use the gym twice a week and view any exercise as a good thing.

I’ve lost about 5lbs since I’ve been here too and this is only the start of the journey.

With these 3 good weeks behind me there is no looking back. The last 6 weeks in the UK have been a sink or swim test.

And I’m swimming. Slowly. Badly. But I’m fucking swimming! And by Christ I will get better and faster (at running, not swimming).

Running 18.5 Miles Today and Recording Another Sub 50 Minute 10k In The Gym On Thursday.

Well it has been a fucking weird week so far. I’m writing to you tonight from Brighton where I’m currently having a little weekend break away from London.

Earlier today I ran 18.5 miles which involved 25 laps around Bruce Castle Park in Tottenham.

Running 18.5 Miles Today and Recording Another Sub 50 Minute 10k In The Gym On Thursday.

From the start I was making up for a missed run on Friday. I tried to take my mind off the number of miles I had to run and focused on zoning out and making it as bearable as possible.

In the end I finished quite strong with a 9:58 min/mile average pace.

My problem is that my consistency sucks when it comes to hard weeks. I seem to be able to only put 2 together before having a bad week.

I’m not giving up on this though.

If I run 11.16 miles in Brighton tomorrow then it will be another 50+ mile week. This is gonna fucking happen!

A week of progress in the gym and on the road.

As I reported in my last post I recorded my first ever sub 50 minute 10km on Monday.

I went to the gym on Wednesday with the intention of trying to do an hour of cross training and perhaps record another fast 10k.

I got into the changing room and sat there for 15 minutes in a daze.

I couldn’t move. I’d ran 10 miles that morning and just didn’t have the energy to go through with yet more exercise.

Anyway, the only thing that made me get me up was the realisation that my blank gaze was being met by men’s hairy asses.

This was disturbing so I fucking bolted and spent the evening eating Haribo in bed like a great big pussy.

Running 18.5 Miles Today and Recording Another Sub 50 Minute 10k In The Gym On Thursday.

Disaster struck sometime during my sleep that same evening. I got up and realised that I’d fallen asleep with the Haribo in my bed and my bedsheets looked like someone or something had an intergalactic wank all over them.

Grim.

The next night I went back to the gym and ran a 10k in 47:30 which was 40 seconds faster than my time on Monday.

The most impressive thing about the 10k was that I ran 2 miles just before it but had to step off the treadmill due to intense gastric distress.

I was forcing my speed on that first aborted run and I was close to a 45 minute 10k.

It was frustrating to have to start over again but there’s no way in fucking hell that I was risking having an accident indoors.

Anyway I’m really goddamn tired tonight so I am heading to bed now.

Up bright and early for my run tomorrow.

I hope to maybe see some of you Brighton runners out along the seafront!

Running My First Ever Sub 50 Minute 10k On A Treadmill

Tonight I ran my first ever sub 50 minute 10k ever. It was on the treadmill at the Pure Gym in Oval.

Running My First Ever Sub 50 Minute 10k On A Treadmill

What makes me proud of that time is that I did an hour on the elliptical, along with a respectable 40 minutes on the stationary bike before hitting the treadmill.

I came close to breaking 50 last week with a 51:59, however the thought of actually running faster than 50 seemed so far away to be irrelevant. It was something I could maybe hope to achieve in 2 to 3 years time.

Not tonight, definitely not tonight.

I knew my legs were strong from the start of the treadmill workout. I began slowly for the first minute at about 8k an hour and picked up the pace to 12.5km and let my energy come to me.

Sustaining that pace seemed quite easy for once and it was only when I got to 5k at 24:59 that I thought the sub 50 was possible.

My learned reaction to this in the past has been to panic, slow down and to talk myself out of shooting for anything ambitious.

This time I drew on my vast reservoirs of dissapointment that I’ve experienced over the past 3 years and just fucking went for it.

Not achieving the sub 50 was not an option this time.

I think I started growling and slobbering at the very end when I cranked the speed up to 16km. By this time I was so dehydrated that there with no more sweat left for me to piss out of my body.

I didn’t bother with any of the cooling down on the treadmill. After 2 and a half hours of exercise I just started mashing on the Stop button as if I’d missed my bus stop and just let myself drift further to the back of the treadmill.

I didn’t fucking care if i had to be scraped off the belt by security, I’d actually achieved something for once. This was my time to shine.

The feeling of success with the sub 50 10k was tempered by knowing that I had made an almighty fucking mess with my sweat and it would take a major clean up operation that I was too exhausted to undertake after all the effort in the run.

I bent down to swab the base of the treadmill with my sweat towel and accidentally farted. I did not shart, but the surprise of it caught me out and I made a hasty retreat to the shower room and then fucked off back to my flat on the tube.

I stopped off at the Little Pret at King’s Cross station for a celebratory can of Ginger Beer that I drank in one slurp whilst on the down escalator. The tarty flavours attacked my sinuses and I made a loud rasping growl of a noise that was reminiscent of the Ghouls from the Fallout games.

Several people stared but I didn’t give a fuck. They will see and hear much worse tonight with this being St Patrick’s Day.

Running My First Ever Sub 50 Minute 10k On A Treadmill

This fucking ghoul is on a high for once.

A sub 4 hour marathon might not be impossible after all. All it takes is a lot of effort and a little bit of self belief.

The average pace for this run was 7:46 min/mile. I’ve never ran sub 8 before on average.

Fucking amazing.

Now I just need to run this fast outside. My jerk brain is telling me that this is just a one off.

Fuck you brain. I conquered you for once you fucking cunt.

Running 50 Miles In A Week Yet Still Feeling Disappointed In Myself.

This is a belated thank you to the last of the Indiegogo contributors who kindly pledged to fund the book.

Dan H, Eggshell Skull, Whitney D, Issi H, Wexter, Ryan McD (aka Razzle), Alison G, Marie And Nicole, Adele C, Michelle C, Steve H, Kerris, Jonny G, Scott F, Mark, Angilin.

I’ve been looking at distribution options for the book and am hoping to bring it to the iPad as well as the Kindle. I’m gonna secure 10 ISBN’s at the end of the month using your contributions and work on developing special editions for each platform.

Your contributions will also help..

  1. Hire a designer for the front cover.
  2. Hire a PR person to try to manage any press shit (I’d fuck that up by starting the press releases with “Hoy cunts!”
  3. Buy 150 Valium tablets down at Camden Lock Market to deal with the stress come November when the release date is looming.
  4. That last one was a joke.

Another reasonable week for running!

I say ‘reasonable’ but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that I only managed 0.7 miles more than last week. I’ve been skipping the gym too often in favour of trips to the Chinese restaurant as well.

Running 50 Miles In A Week Yet Still Feeling Disappointed In Myself.

Still, I covered 50 miles and ran my fastest ever 10k on the treadmill on Monday night!

I should be happy with myself but I’m my own worst enemy at times.

My problem is that I excel at turning all minor victories into defeats. When I feel defeated, I act defeated and then eat like shit and do less exercise.

A positive attitude and approach is more helpful to me at the moment. The danger is that I find comfort in fearing and thinking of the worst.

When I believe that I’m gonna fail, the chances are that I will.

The fact is I didn’t fucking fail this week. I did 10 hours of exercise and ate reasonably well.

I will continue to improve.

But I want the struggle to be over. I want the point of no return where my fitness and wellbeing grows and I never look back.

I’m still a mess a lot of the time. My bed in my room here is covered in Pepperami wrappers.

I just know that I can be so much better than this and I can’t give in so easily to temptation.

Running in Tottenham isn’t much fun of late.

I think I’m gonna have to move from after my lease expires at the end of the month. The flat is great but I don’t honestly feel safe running in the area.

Far too many cars and roads to cross.

It’s not so bad when I run in the morning, but even then the run is bleak as I have to trek through industrial estates and urban areas.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few cool nearby parks to run in namely Clissold and Alexandra Park! It’s just they are difficult to get too with many busy roads in the way.

I keep nearly dying whilst crossing the main road at Wood Green. Those incidents always ruin my run as I think about how close I came to meeting the reaper.

Running 50 Miles In A Week Yet Still Feeling Disappointed In Myself.

A run of hate after yesterday’s fun 16.22 miler.

My 9.3 mile run today pissed me off quite a bit. There were far too many football hooligans around looking for ‘banter’ and trouble. It didn’t help that it was match day and Tottenham High Road was covered with police and football fans.

I had to cut the run short as there was no room available on the footpaths and I didn’t have enough of a death wish to run in the bus lanes.

Next week I will be back to running in Hyde Park. The only danger in there are the stray dogs and the squirrels. If I bring enough Bombay Mix with me on the run then they shouldn’t be a problem!

10 Awful Things That Have Entered My Head When I’ve Been Out Running.

This post is about some of the awful things I think about doing whilst running.

Most of them are extraordinarily negative in nature so if you’re wanting inspirational shit you’re gonna have to wait until tomorrow my hippy friend.

1) Get injured so I never have to run again -  When I was at my lowest I didn’t really care if I got injured in races. It was that much of a struggle getting through the last miles that sometimes it seemed easier to have a legitimate reason for stopping instead of just quitting like a lazy bastard. When I first told my friends and family that I was running my first marathon and hadn’t started training for it, I thought about feigning an injury just to stop myself from worrying about failure.

2) Jump up behind old lady and screaming ‘Hold your horses love! This is the grim reaper!’ – The last thing I want to do when I’m out running is to actually kill someone but I do have the temptation sometimes to jump up behind old ladies and shout “remember me lady? It’s the Reaper! We last met when you choked on that huge bit of Turkey at Christmas!’. I’m not willing to serve time for manslaughter though. I’d get bored of running laps of my jail cell.

10 Awful Things That Have Entered My Head When Ive Been Out Running.

3) Maybe I should just try to piss whilst running instead of stopping – Just once I’d like to try urinating whilst jogging. It would be a complete disaster though regardless of wind direction or my pacing at the time. Plus I’d probably get arrested too if I got caught with my lad out by the coppers.

4) Flicking fingers at well wishers – My heart soars whenever someone wishes me well on the run. Sometimes I want to repay them for their kindness by flipping them the bird and yelling “I bet you weren’t expecting me to play this sort of hand were you?”

5) Stopping the run, going home and creating a fictional route once I get back – No one will know or care! What are you actually gonna achieve on this run anyway? A negative split and a 10 minute mile average? Congratulations! Make it easier for yourself and go onto Mapmyrun, create a 20 mile route and pretend you ran it in 2 hours. Everyone will think you’re a hero. 

6) Waving to a dog on my 5am runs and shouting ‘morning cunt, how’s the form?’ – Even if a dog causes no trouble I want to antagonise it and upset the owner. I’m not a very nice person.

10 Awful Things That Have Entered My Head When Ive Been Out Running.

7) Picking up road side bottles and drinking out of them – On hot days I get so thirsty that I would do almost anything just to have a drink even if it involves tramping bottles off by the roadside, most of which probably contain rat spunk. I can’t do this in London as there’s always too many people around and I’d be exposed as the tramp I am.

8 ) Flash for the race photographer – I refuse to smile for them as it is cheesy and contrived. I’d rather express myself in a more genuine way by flashing my buttocks at the bastards in an attempt to burn a hole through their lens. I hate smiling for photographs. It’s just too much effort when you’re a curmudgeon like me. I have smiled for the photographer before and it’s been because I’ve been genuinely happy.

9) Trip up deliberately slow people in races – I mean the dickheads who run backwards, clap their hands and encourage their friends whilst annoying the fuck out of everyone else.  I could never do this as they are usually wearing memorial t-shirts for the person they are running the race for. But the thought always enters my mind and makes me wince. And laugh hysterically. So if in the rare chance I actually pass you in a race and I’m laughing my ass off, it’s not because I’m a bad sport, I’ve just had some bad thoughts.

10) Steal hats – This might sound racist, but it’s not. I was running up Stamford Hill in London today at mile 14 out of 16. The area has a large community of Jewish people. These guys were out in force on my run and I had the idea of stealing one or more of their hats just to entertain myself. The hats they were wearing were pretty fucking epic. If I could nab one I’d be able rehouse at least 50 squirrels from St James Park and feed them Spicy Mix from Poundland.

10 Awful Things That Have Entered My Head When Ive Been Out Running.

My Alli Diet Pill Horror Story – When My Bowels Failed Me After 4 Pints Of Guinness.

I tried Alli out of desperation at the start of my weight loss journey. This was in January 2010 when I was around 275lbs and still technically obese.

At the time I was on the Weight Watchers regime and my only form of exercise was 2 mile walks at the weekend. I still had no idea that I’d become a runner at this point and was more interested in shedding the pounds than anything else.

I was losing approximately 2 pounds a week which wasn’t quick enough for my liking as I had so much weight to lose so I decided to give Alli a go as it promised to hasten my progress.

What could I possibly lose apart from a lot of weight?

My Alli Diet Pill Horror Story   When My Bowels Failed Me After 4 Pints Of Guinness.

At the start the tablets worked.  I lost a total of 6 pounds in my first two weeks on the regime but I’m not sure over how much of that can be attributed to my dieting or to the tablets.

My Alli experience quickly turned sour one night when I went to see Edwyn Collins in the Black Box in Belfast. Normally before gigs I will drink several pints to improve my buzz and get in the mood for the event.

The evening in question was no different only this time around I tried Guinness instead of my usual Budweiser as the stout was lower on Weight Watchers points at the time.

4 pints and 2 hours later and the gig was over. Suddenly I felt an intense cringing pain in my bowels like no other. 

It was like someone had pierced my rectum with a javelin. I ran out to the front of the Black Box in search of the toilets where I seen Edwyn Collins limping away to his changing room. He was still quite frail after his health problems and he must have thought I was gonna Morrissey him up the bum.

My Alli Diet Pill Horror Story   When My Bowels Failed Me After 4 Pints Of Guinness.

I had no time to ask for his autograph as I was distraught and in fear for my jeans. I started to knead the carpet like a cat to try to keep the lava in whilst I scanned the lobby for a cubicle.

Then out of nowhere I let out the dampest fart known to man. I knew I was in trouble instantly as my farts before that in the hallway were very warm.

As a rule of thumb, the hotter the fart the greater the danger for me.

If my farts are stone cold then I’m confident that I’d be able to fart a sprightly medley of all the National anthems that have ever existed without going in off.

This fart was clearly a fever fart. It gave me no warning. It arrived at my feet with little fanfare, much like a stray dog sauntering through a cat flap.

I wasn’t sure if I’d actually shit myself or not.

I was close to performing the 2 finger test but I saw that Edwyn was still making his way up the hallway and the last thing you want to do when you’re in front of one of your musical heroes is to be caught with a finger up your hole.

I did the Protestant thing and yanked down my bags in the toilet cubicle. All sorts of horror scenes were playing through my mind. Would it be like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets the scene in The Shining where the dead twin girls are lying in the corridor?

I closed my eyes and counted 3-2-1-Surprise!!!

The good news was that I’d only buttered my cheeks. It was humiliating but by no means the end of my world. This was still enough to force me into an extensive clean up operation that ended with me flushing my Primark boxers down the toilet.

But I’d never seen anything like that shit before in my life. This was not normal crap. It looked like honeyed porridge and was completely odourless. I was effectively shitting like a budgie.

I didn’t need this in my life.

Alli seems to work on the basis that if you don’t eat well then you’ll shit yourself as punishment. Whilst this works at first you can’t live your life in fear that one Mars Bar or 4 pints of Guinness will make your shit box fire whilst you’re out shopping for pyjamas with Grandma.

These diet pills always come with a diet programme that you have to follow for them to work for you. The thing is that if you were to follow the programme without the tablets you’d lose weight in a safe and controlled way.

You don’t need the tablets.

Permanent weight loss isn’t about quick fixes or drastic lifestyle changes. You’ve gotta work on bettering yourself little by little over a long period of time. Taking drugs to try to speed the process up will only end in disaster most of the time. The temptation is always there when you’ve gotta lose a lot and that’s why the companies who market these pills will continue to prosper whilst poor bastards soil themselves after too much dessert and/or Guinness.

The quick fixes keep you locked in a cycle of failure , shame and self loathing. The real power to change your life resides within you, not within a stupid fucking pill.

The pharmaceutical companies don’t make money by making a success story out of you.

7 Reasons Why I’m Starting To Like The Gym Now.

Last night I had quite an excellent session at the gym.

I stayed on the elliptical machine for an hour, ran my fastest ever 10k on the treadmill (51:59) and braved through 30 minutes on the stationary bike.

At the minute I’m absolutely loving the experience of heading into the gym, which is a radical departure from how I viewed it before.

7 Reasons Why Im Starting To Like The Gym Now.

7 reasons why I’m really starting to love the gym now.

  1. When you’ve no expectations you’re more likely to be pleasantly surprised - I went in last Monday evening expecting nothing and was taken aback a little when I enjoyed the experience (this was up until the point where I locked myself out of my own locker and had to cry for help).
  2. I’m mixing it up a little - I’ve been trying out the stepper and rowing machines and although I haven’t used them for any significant amount of time, I can tell they’ll be useful going forward. I no longer stick to just the treadmill but also go on the bike and the cross trainer. Variety adds so much more to the experience.
  3. I’m going easy on new machines - When you start out with a new exercise it’s difficult to tell what intensity you should start out on if there is no heart rate monitor built into it. My policy is to start easy. If it’s a choice between going easy on an exercise machine in the gym versus staying at home and feeding my face, then the former option is better. That “go hard or go home” motto is fucking bullshit, especially if you eat countless pies when you go home. The person who invented it is a fucking bonehead moron of a cunt who should be sectioned under the “People Who Are Cunts Act of 2014″
  4. I’ve stopped worrying about the calories I’m burning - This was the biggest killer for me. I’ve started using the elliptical machine quite a bit and it’s very challenging. I could tell from the start that it was working my body well yet I seemed to burn very few calories when it came to the machine’s counter. I still fall into the trap of thinking that the number of calories burned is indicative of the quality of the workout when it obviously isn’t.
    7 Reasons Why Im Starting To Like The Gym Now.
  5. I’ve stopped being self conscious - No one is staring at me. Everyone else is there for the same reason. Every time I go into a gym I become less and less worried about my body. Not because I’m getting buff, rather I’m becoming older and I don’t give as much of a fuck about what others think of me. The only time I’ve become self conscious is when my sweat has landed on another person’s machine. Now that was totally fucking gross!
  6. I can run outside and still do gym work - It doesn’t just have to be one or the other. In fact I’ve found that I run stronger directly after a gym session. Before I assumed that gym work was just a distraction from running. In the past week I’ve ran two of my fastest ever runs in the morning after a 2 hour long spell at the gym.
  7. I’ve forgotten about all of the bad times I’ve had in the gym - Before I started training for my first ever marathon I went through countless spells of going to the gym for a few days and then giving up. I always assumed that it was gonna be this way and that I just wasn’t made for it. I think you’ve gotta give the gym a chance in order for it to become part of your routine. If you’re working yourself into the ground each and every time then you’ll find it difficult to sustain. You’ve gotta try to enjoy it as much as you can now and forget about what’s happened to you before.

Running 55 miles In A Week And Recovering From An Almighty Slump.

Well it seems that spring has finally arrived here in the UK and I for one am fucking glad.

It has been a very long winter and I love nothing more than the longer sunny days as it is so much easier to fit a run in without resorting to excuses.

Anyway enough of my hippy fucking babbling.

This week was great for running and exercise in general. I managed 43 miles of road running and another 20k on the treadmill in the gym.

I did a little bit of everything including some speed work on Wednesday and Friday, an excellent 17 miler through Tottenham on Saturday and then an additional 10 miles today through Hyde Park.

I’m delighted that my fitness has seemingly improved in my month here in London when by all accounts it should have decreased with all of the new food that I have been eating.

Arguably the worst run was today’s I was exhausted after yesterday’s long run and the additional 5 miles I walked through London after it.

Running 55 miles In A Week And Recovering From An Almighty Slump.

I made the mistake of starting out after noon which meant the park was already thriving with fellow runners and families.

Unfortunately this brought out the angry side in me. Every time I tried to run past someone who was staring down at their smart phone I squirted out some Lucozade Sport past their heads as a way to try to make them wake the fuck up.

I have nothing against those who use their smart phones in public. It is just the silly absent minded cunts who stop in their tracks with headphones in that make me want to run amok.

Running 55 miles In A Week And Recovering From An Almighty Slump.

I wasted at least half a bottle of Lucozade through squirting which was unfortunate as by 2pm it was quite hot outside and my mouth was as dry as a nun’s crack. By the last mile I came perilously close to squirting a 6 foot 4 Latino male in the head with a blast.

Fortunately I missed otherwise you would have heard about me on the news.

About 100m further down the path I got mocked by a bunch of skinheads who saw me attempt to throw the empty drinks bottle in the garbage, only for me to miss and jog around the back to throw it back in.

I did this all without stopping. I wanted to shout ‘suck it up you cunts I’m styling!’ but I like living.

I ended the run in the highly congested Speaker’s Corner which is a place in Hyde Park where fucking nutjobs of all stripes get to debate who is the greatest fucking nutjob of them all.

Several of the orators by the side tried to stop me for a chat about God, Allah or Krishna but I basically told each of them in my thick Ulster drawl that ‘I don’t honestly give a fuck.’.

I came away from Northern Ireland partly to escape religion but it seems that there are just as much or even more fucking mentalists here.

Finally moving forward.

I wake up every day with my fears for the 100k as the first thing on my mind. Instead of letting it break me I channel my fear into action.

I try to do all of the little things right.

Instead of catching the bus to the Tube I walk the mile there.

Instead of having a footlong Sub for breakfast I go for the 6 inch.

Instead of calling my morning runs off because of a lack of time I turn those sessions into speed runs.

Instead of telling myself that I am too tired for the gym I say to myself that the exercise will make me sleep better and I’ll awake feeling great.

Instead of drinking my fears away from regarding both the 100k and the book I go home after the gym and try to read as much as I can to improve my writing.

I used to consider myself my own worst enemy and sometimes I guess I still am. It is only recently that I’ve considered the possibility of becoming my own best ally. 30 years of self hate and confusion didn’t lead me anywhere good.

It is time for a change and a time to end the blame.

Recording My Fastest Ever Run This Morning & Trying To Find An Emotional Balance In My 100k Training.

Apologies everyone, my mood has been up and down like a whore’s undies recently.

I’m trying to restore normal service as soon as possible. I’m fully aware I haven’t thanked the last few contributors on the blog individually and I hope to do that this week! I’ve still to send out the thank you emails too!

After a poor week of exercise and eating last week, I’ve made the decision to break from the negativity that was fueling both my laziness and my greediness and start afresh for quite possibly the 100th time.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with falling into a negative mindset, as long as you can snap back out of it and learn what triggered your slump in the first place.

For me I’ve been overeating as I’m still terrified that my London move will go wrong.

I’ve been here close to a month and I’ve loved almost all of my time here, I just worry that I’m gonna end up forgetting all of my bank cards on the tube and be forced into either moving back or becoming a rent boy at King’s Cross.

I’ll be honest, I wish I wasn’t so negative. A positive mindset isn’t something I can turn on. I can’t relate to anyone who is perpetually positive, it comes across as phony. I think some people are ashamed to view their lives or their experiences in a less than positive light.

It’s seen as a weakness to be something other than a grinning cunt. I think being a grinning cunt is a weakness if you’re repressing your emotions.

Anyway I’m getting into a positive routine at the gym.

On Monday and Tuesday night I spent over 2 hours in the gym on the cycling machines, treadmills and the cross trainer.

I’m finding the elliptical the most difficult workout at the moment as I’ve neglected to work that part of my body before. I know if I give it time my strength will increase and I will start to enjoy it.

Recording My Fastest Ever Run This Morning & Trying To Find An Emotional Balance In My 100k Training.

Instead of pushing myself to breaking point, I’m trying to ease my way into this new regime. I’m going slow to build up my endurance more for London 2 Brighton.

My primary focus is to stay in the gym for as long as possible each night. If I’m there then I’m away from all of great food on offer in London and I’m building upon my fitness.

The great thing is that I can go to the suite for a few hours each night and then still run the next morning and be fresh. This has surprised me. I was expecting to be broken from all of the cross training but I actually feel much stronger!

I ran my fastest ever average paced run this morning.

This morning I went out with an hour to spare before work and aimed to cover a 10k in under an hour.

I set out fast and ran my first mile in just over 9 minutes. My body and mind were both very strong so I pushed as hard as I could at the end of the session and recorded 7.1 miles in 60 minutes.

My average pace was 8:26 minute/mile which is my fastest ever run.

Suddenly my self belief is back again and I want to go out running again. When you fall into a rut the last thing you wanna do is to run as you assume that it’ll be humiliating.

I almost didn’t run. I didn’t think I had enough time and that I’d be late for work.

I made it there on time and I had an excellent run. Today has been a great day!

Down At The Tube Station At Midnight With Gym Cock Fumes.

Today I completed my first ever gym session in London.

I spent 37 minutes on the stationary bike, 60 minutes on the treadmill and another 30 on the cross trainer.

It was a great experience apart from at the end when I tried to use a padlock to secure my bag in the changing rooms. It had a combination on it and I have only ever used the ones with the keys.

Suffice to say I managed to lock not only my bag but my phone and PIN number in the locker meaning I had to call the manager for help.

I just told them that I had no idea how the fucking locks worked and he stared at me as if I had two heads. I know it is not rocket science but I have never been great with my hands and I lose patience very quickly.

He opened the locker and I spent another 20 minutes fannying about with the lock.

I had a fuck it all moment and stormed out from the Gym and into the courtyard without taking a shower. Not the wisest choice ever.

There was no way out of the gym complex except through a hidden passage way with a door release button. A guy at the other side of the gate tried pointing out where it was but my lazy eye was following his hand. He was quickly growing impatient.

Down At The Tube Station At Midnight With Gym Cock Fumes.

I lost my temper and shouted ‘fuck it mate I’m happy in here!’ and hid away around the corner where he couldn’t see me.

The poor fucker probably thinks I’m still there now. I do get very defensive about my squint. Kids took the piss out of it for years and now I get irritable when I think cunts are having a laugh.

Anyway I was wearing the shorts and T-shirt I’d brought for my gym session so I was fucking freezing outside and the stench emanating from my nether regions was quite frankly fucking appalling.

I hopped on the Northbound Victoria line tube and held my breath at every stop in case crowds of people hopped on and make a scene about my sweatiness.

Fortunately no one did.

It was the best moment of the day so far.

I’m gonna be working on building my endurance over the next few months at the gym. I’m determined to set right my wrongs since I moved here. It is tough going but it will get easier over time.

Running Today For The First Time In A Week & Losing A Bag Full Of Running Shorts On The Tube.

I’m pretty fucking annoyed with myself tonight.

I spent two hours inside Decathalon picking out a series of their cheapest running shorts and tonight I left the fucking shopping bag on the tube.

Running Today For The First Time In A Week & Losing A Bag Full Of Running Shorts On The Tube.

I am a fucking tube.

I reported it to the Tube staff and they were very helpful but I’m not holding out much hope that I’ll see them again.

I haven’t had much joy with running shorts since I moved here.

First of all I only packed 1 pair of them with me on the plane. Then I bought a new pair for the Brighton half marathon and they were 2 sizes too small.

Now this.

I’m cautious about asking my mother to airmail my  old ones over in case a police sniffer god smells them, goes postal and eats the face off his master.

Running Today For The First Time In A Week & Losing A Bag Full Of Running Shorts On The Tube.
Yum! Crusty old ball sweat tastes like putrid beefburgers.

I did no running this week whatsoever up until today.

The idea of this 100k has been preying on my mind. I’ve been doubting my sanity and ability. I’ve been wanting to quit running altogether.

I hate falling into this mindset but I’ve been doing nothing to help myself.

Instead of countering my doubt with action I’ve been feeding my fucking face to try to forget everything.

I need to deal with it better starting tonight. I’m tired of writing sentences like “oh I have to recommit, I have to eat more healthily, blah blah fucking blah”.

Suck a cock, any cock and win a fucking prize.

But it’s not all bad news.

I’ve been here before mentally and I’ve always come back stronger.

The truth is that I do love the act of running. I just drive myself fucking mad with all of the shit around it like time, pacing and weekly mileage.

It ruins it. I long for a simpler era where I can just run for the sake of it and not give a fuck about anything else.

Putting one foot in front of the other is bliss. Thinking about training schedules is fucking piss.

I did run today.

I wasn’t going to.

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself “what’s the point in just recording 6 measly miles for the week? It’s a write-off! Just stay in bed and forget about everything.

I went out and did 8.7 miles in 85 minutes. It wasn’t a bad run in fairness. I wasn’t fast but I did feel strong.

I walked for about 4 miles as well around Central London and my dinner tonight consisted of fruit and a stick of Pepparami.

I am trying but sometimes it feels like one step forward 2 steps back. I shouldn’t be writing a blog offering lifestyle advice whilst I’m this fucking mental.

I want to usher in a new period in my life but to do that I have to start now. No-one is gonna save me from myself. I’m 100% responsible for all of this.

That’s why I bought the running shorts and t-shirts. I’m starting a Pure Gym in Oval tomorrow but unfortunately I’ll be wearing my old smelly running shorts.

Running Today For The First Time In A Week & Losing A Bag Full Of Running Shorts On The Tube.

In the past I’d have taken this as a sign from the Gods that I wasn’t meant to be at the gym. But now? I don’t care who the fuck I offend with the stench from these bad boys.

I’m getting back on track. It takes far more mental energy to feel like a lazy bastard than it does to just go out there and do it.

It’s never as bad as you think it’s gonna be. Today’s run proved that. I’ve done well for myself this year and it will continue to get better if I breathe, move slowly and love what I’m doing.

When Running Isn’t Always Healthy. 11 Ways I’m Abusing Myself With Running.

The inspiration for this post came from a wonderful article by a Mr Simon Lamb who wrote about how to avoid becoming injured as a runner, as a guest post on The Running Beans.

It got me thinking to the many ways that I’ve been damaging myself with jogging unintentionally.

  1. I never really stop to celebrate a run - It’s always about the next run and what went wrong the the last one. It seems like I’m on a never ending treadmill (pardon the pun) and I can’t win.
  2. I’m negative about being negative when I’m moving - I don’t care what all of you hippy cunts say, it’s natural to have negative thoughts in your head when you’re running. What’s dangerous is being negative about being negative. Saying things like “Christ, I’m such a negative fucking freak!” doesn’t help you. Accept that the negative thoughts are there but they don’t mean anything until you associate or engage with them. Mind confetti covered in the Devil’s shit. Brush it off your shoulder.
  3. My boozing on the night before races is harmful - Las Vegas was the worst for this. I drank a shit ton on the evening before the marathon and then had 2 margaritas on the morning of the race itself. I’m just asking for my heart to shit itself.
    When Running Isnt Always Healthy. 11 Ways Im Abusing Myself With Running.
  4. I’m not running nearly enough for fun - It’s always about making progress in terms of speed and distance but never about achieving any sort of peace. All of this is fueled by the false notion that I’ll never be good enough and that I’m a fraud. I still compare myself to other runners every day and it’s never favorably.
  5. My refusing to stop to walk and being terrified of doing so is damaging - I still can’t accept that stopping to walk is OK on a scheduled training run. I tell myself that I’m cheating and/or giving in. Real men run until their legs explode.
    When Running Isnt Always Healthy. 11 Ways Im Abusing Myself With Running.
  6. Leaving all of my training for the last few months before the event is suicidal - I never take the easy and sensible approach to race training. Take this upcoming 100k for example. I’ve still to do any runs significantly over the 20 mile mark. I’m just assuming that I’ll somehow be able to run that far. It’s a trap I’ve fallen into in nearly ever race I’ve ran and it doesn’t work.
  7. Never focusing on running whilst I’m doing it is a waste - My mind is always elsewhere. In the few times where I concentrate solely on the act of moving, the run always feel like such a fucking success. I rarely get there though, it’s always “how many minutes left? what am I gonna eat after the run? What if I pump my arms too hard on the home straight and they cramp up on my post-run wank? “
  8. Becoming so angry whilst on the run hurts no one but myself - I still can’t control my temper when I’m out there. I just end up hating everyone and everything too fucking much and it doesn’t help in the slightest with my running. It’s very difficult to run a negative split when you get into a fist fight on the last mile.
  9. Running to try to cure my mental health problems just doesn’t work - Instead of addressing shit directly I assume that if I throw enough running at them then eventually everything will work itself out. But yeah, running is cheaper than therapy isn’t it?
  10. Working against my body instead of with it results in injury - I become full of anger if I’m unable to sustain a pace. Instead of accepting that my lack of endurance comes from eating too much pie and not enough practice, I convince myself that I’m just not good enough and then the pity party begins.
  11. Caring too much is just all around bad - Running should be about freedom, not about crushing pressure. I want to go gallivanting in Brecon Beacon Country Park with my cock in a sling. No more Garmin’s ever again. From now on I want running to be like when I was a kid.

Do you abuse your body and your mind as a runner? If so how and why?

9 Reasons Why London Is Turning Me Into An Angry Fucking Jogger Again.

There is definitely something about running in London which has really made me into an angry fucking jogger again.

When I was back home in Northern Ireland I was actually starting to wave at motorists and be polite to everyone. Over here I hate everyone and everything/

There are a number of contributing factors which I discuss in detail in this post.

9 things about running in London that have made me an angry jogger all over again.

  1. The footpaths are uneven - I’ve already fallen once and tripped at least 4 times. Every time I stumble, my heart skips a beat and I want to roar “you fucking cunt!”. It’s always the pavement’s fault and never my own for being a footless cunt.
  2. I have absolutely no fucking idea where I’m going most of the time - When you’re lost you’re always on edge. You worry if you’ll ever make it home. Being stubborn I’ll never admit I’m lost until it’s blatantly obvious and I’m lying crying by the roadside cursing all humans for being cunts.
  3. Londoners are excessively paranoid and are always checking behind their backs -  And I get insulted as I think they are victimising me for breathing and running funny.  The truth is that you can tell how dangerous an area is by how nervous the pedestrians are. So when I see an old lady gawking behind her from almost 100m away I think “fuck. The bumrape rates around here must be sky high! Time to break into the speed work! Only this isn’t speed work, this is survival motherfucker!”
  4. It’s difficult and sometimes terrifying to run into more central areas - Sure, you can just catch the tube to St James Park and run around there 50 times but most of the time I run from my house on a whim which is in South London. Crossing over from the South Bank into the City Centre is a boss level challenge. Do you risk bolting across the road or do you just turn back and run from where you came from?”. I’m a big fucking pussy so I know which one I choose.
    9 Reasons Why London Is Turning Me Into An Angry Fucking Jogger Again.
  5. Londoners aren’t shy people - After my 18 miler in Greenwich on Friday, I walked into the hostel and these diamond fucking geezers at the corner of the room broke into hysterics, pointed at me and mocked me with “you a bit wet there mate? we seen you running towards the door! You awright?”. No I’m not fucking all right. Leave me alone here in the corner to sulk and wince in pain. If I hate you hard enough I’ll be dry in an instant. Unless of course this 18 miler has rendered me incontinent. Which wouldn’t be a first.
  6. You rarely see other runners - Unless you’re in parks the tendency is to believe that you’re outnumbered by motorists and absent minded pedesterians who are always gawking down at their fucking smartphones reading their SMS’s.
  7. The pavement is often very narrow in London - And families love to walk all in a line together. There is no movement or compromise from them. I either have to jog on the spot and breathe angrily or wait until they fuck off into Boots and clear up a little bit of the way. I’ve tried running into a bus lane before but that nearly ended in tragedy I turned back to the fucking assholes who squeezed me off the pavement and gave them the fingers. Yes. This is happening a lot. I can’t handle the hate.
  8. Very fucking angry motorists - London drivers are off their fucking heads on rage against runners, cyclists and pedestrians. You never have right of way even if you’re on a pelican crossing.
    9 Reasons Why London Is Turning Me Into An Angry Fucking Jogger Again.
  9. There is never really any peace in London for the runner - Back home I could run for 16 miles and maybe encounter 3 people. Even in large parks in London there are cars, hoards of families, militant squirrels and whore dogs. The stress never fucking ends.

A Weekly Recap Of Angry Jogging & 6 Things I’ve Learned About Myself In This Time

I’m on a high tonight after a challenging week where I survived living in shared accommodation and still managed to run 47.7 miles over the course of the 7 days.

I had a make a hasty exit from the hostel after sitting down on the bottom bunk and leaving a wet ass smear on the sheets. I had just come back from the shower and no towels were provided to dry myself off. I also had no intention of explaining what the mark was so I got all of my shit together and ran out the door.

Another reason that I’m glad I can move semi quickly.

Anyway I’m really starting to build my mileage back up again after 2 poor weeks where I recorded only 26 and 34 miles. I haven’t just been working on overall mileage, I’ve been trying to improve my pace a little too.

Running faster for a reason.

Tonight I went out and thumped out a 7.35 mile progression run in only 66 minutes.

I ran out to Elephant & Castle and back and was not comfortable at all in my surroundings, especially considering it was night time and had no clue as to where I was headed.

A Weekly Recap Of Angry Jogging & 6 Things Ive Learned About Myself In This Time

It was not a place that you want to stand around in unless you’re on a suicide mission.

I finished strong on a 8:08 minute mile after 3 sub 9′s in a row. It’s been a while since I’ve managed that!

The past week has been all about growing and learning. Here are 6 things that I’ve learned about myself in that time.

  1. I can still do back to back long runs - My half marathon on Thursday and my 18 miler on Friday proved that I still have a fitness base that I was worried had disappeared since moving over to London.  This gives me the confidence to go out and try more long runs in the capital.
  2. I don’t have control over my eating habits - Same old story with the Angry Jogger I’m afraid. I’ve been having lots of superfood salads for lunch & dinner but following them up with Krispy Kreme for dessert. My itemised bank statement also makes for shocking reading. I’ve been visiting Greggs the Bakers too often.
    A Weekly Recap Of Angry Jogging & 6 Things Ive Learned About Myself In This Time
  3. But I do have more control over my drinking - I went out yesterday with the @thepauldoherty for some drinks around town and we didn’t end up in a complete state. The last time we headed out on the piss we took it way too far with far too many house trebles on Tyneside. I spent the next morning vomiting like hell. It was so bad that I almost puked into my Tostado Nachos in TGI Fridays. Today I was easily able to complete a 7 mile run and could have continued on for longer.
  4. Just because my mind is telling me everything is going wrong doesn’t mean it’s true - I still have moments where I’m overwhelmed by everything. I’m writing a book and a blog about running when I’m not a great runner. I’ve entered a 100k race that I probably haven’t trained enough for. I seem to fail all of the time at meeting my goals. But you know what’s important? I’m still running and I’m trying to become better at everything. It isn’t hopeless. I can only improve bit by bit and it will take time.
  5. Walking is still an amazing way to build fitness - Following on from last week’s post where I bemoaned by laziness when it comes to public transport in London I’ve stopped using the Tube so much and now walk to my location. I’ve recently installed a Pedometer application on my smartphone that tracks my steps by day. On 6 out of 7 days last week I managed well over 10,000. This is great news.
  6. Become debilitated with fear over a running event won’t make it any easier to complete come race day - I’ve joined a gym to do some more cross and endurance training ahead of the 100k race. For all the time that I’ve spent paralysed by fear of the thought of the run I could have been putting my body to work. Sometimes our minds are our worst enemies. We’re constantly dreaming up worst case scenarios that won’t happen or at least shouldn’t happen if we put our minds to rest and body into gear.

7 Reasons Why I Hate Staying In Hostels As A Curmudgeon And A Runner.

Just as a word of warning, I wrote most of this post last night in my hostel dormitory bed infuriated after being locked out of my room and wanting vengeance.

The truth about staying in a hostel at the moment is that it’s not too bad. You can shower when you want. You can leave when you want. The staff and the people are quite friendly.

It’s OK. Apart from at night time when it completely fucking sucks. Before I get on to writing about how much I fucking hate hostels, I want to tell you about today’s half marathon.

A half marathon today.

I went out at 2pm and recorded a 13.5 mile run in 2:11. It was a lovely run. Perfect weather, scenery and conditions.

Well almost.

The first bit was shit again. Londoners don’t give a fuck that you’re running behind them. I mean they’ll look at you, but they usually won’t move over or even acknowledge your existence beyond a blank stare.

I’ve become a very angry jogger whilst running over here, mainly because it can be so fucking dangerous with traffic and no one gives a fuck.

7 Reasons Why I Hate Staying In Hostels As A Curmudgeon And A Runner.

I lost my mind at the very end of a run and just started cunting my fingers at a red bus that honked at me as I crossed the road.

The important thing is that the run is good. Now onto my post about bitching about hostels.

Here are the reasons I hate staying in a hostel.

  1. I sometimes enjoy meeting other people - But in the right fucking setting. Not when they are stumbling in giggling at 2am like cunts. The quieter they try to be, the louder they end up being. I can’t make friends when I’m on the defensive. If you’ve ever seen me coming back from the shower in my undies then I won’t be able to look you in the face again.
  2. I’ve started drinking in the evenings so that I can sleep at night in the hostel - This makes running in the morning much trickier too. I delay the run until after lunch. I still go out but it seems like I’m slower because of my evening pints. Running with drink in your stomach makes your bowels squelch which is always dangerous.
  3. People from other countries tend to have different requirements when it comes to personal space - Since I’m from the UK I need at least a 10×10 foot square space to work from with a clear head. If I’m hungover, then that space requirement doubles. If you’re shouting in my ear in a foreign tongue then I will need to get the fuck out as soon as possible. I won’t want to say hello or ask you why you’re so cultured.
    7 Reasons Why I Hate Staying In Hostels As A Curmudgeon And A Runner.
  4. My Garmin Forerunner is out of power all the time - 8 people in one dorm all fighting to keep their little bleeping things bleeping. Who will win? Not the Angry cunt on top bunk. He’s too scared of jumping down and tipping the entire fucking bed frame over with his weight.
  5. I have to shower before and after every run and this takes a lot of time when I’m cramping up - As much contempt as I might have for my fellow roommates I don’t want to subject them to my fragrant sack after a hilly 10 miler (although if they are noisy tonight then I will make good use of that spoiled vegetable Samosa I ate earlier and fart until at least 4 of us are dead).
  6. Steps, steps everywhere - After completing my half marathon run on Sunday around Greenwich, I went back to my dorm to get changed and tripped down 2 stairs. It’s difficult enough climbing stairs when you’ve been on a long run but the steps are everywhere here and in the weirdest places.
    7 Reasons Why I Hate Staying In Hostels As A Curmudgeon And A Runner.
  7. There is no en-suite bathroom in this hostel -Last night I urgently needed a piss, so rushed out into the one down the corridor. I forgot my room key so I couldn’t get back into my room. This was at 2:35am. I headed down to 24 hour reception and all of the staff were outside drinking like fucking hippy cunts. What made it worse was that I got into bed a little drunk last night and was dressed in a shirt and tie with no trousers on. Not my best ever look. And that’s what I was sporting as I was locked out in between the hostel entrance and 24 hour reception. Anyway, Cunt A had a pass around his neck so he looked like he was in charge. He started with a flippant “‘sup dude?”. I let my eyes say “I want to invent a time machine so that I can kill not just your parents but every single motherfucker who has ever shared an ancestor with you going back 20,000 years. But before I invent that technology, could you please let me into my fucking room? Thanks.”

This post was entirely mean spirited and unnecessary but I thought it was important to get it off my chest.

Thanks for reading.

Why I Left Northern Ireland For London And How I’ve Been Enjoying It So Far.

I’ve been asked plenty of times why I made the big jump over to London so I’ve done a little bit of explaining here.

Why I wanted to move.

I think the biggest motivating factor in my moving over to England was all of the half marathon races over here. I figured that I was spending £2,000 a year on trips across to the UK mainland.

I wanted to be able to travel to races by train or bus and make life easier for myself.

I remember thinking that it was really fucking cool you could just take the train from London and be in Belgium or in France within 2 hours and run the Paris Marathon by just catching the Eurostar.

Why I Left Northern Ireland For London And How Ive Been Enjoying It So Far.

Pretty fucking cool.

So why did you leave for London now?

I’d been boring my friends for years about my plans to head out to England. I’ve wanted to do it since I graduated in 2008 but I never had the gall to do it until now.

Nothing bad happened to make me want to leave, in fact I was happier at home than I’d been for a long time.

I just wanted to create a new life for myself.

So I decided to book a one-way flight from Belfast to Gatwick with nothing waiting for me on the mainland except a one week Airbandb flat share in Wimbledon (which turned out to be great).

I didn’t think I’d go through with it. I assumed I’d just wasted another £75 on a flight I wanted to take but wouldn’t go through with.

That next morning was frantic. I’d set my alarm for 5am and the airport cab was picking me up at 5:30am. What followed was one of the worst ever packing jobs ever. I brought 4 pairs of running shoes with me and 1 pair of shorts.

And forgot all of my fucking running t-shirts.

I got into the taxi and headed to the George Best City Airport with a small bottle of whiskey mixed into a larger Pepsi bottle, partly to overcome my fear of flying and mainly to try to steady my mind at going through with my plan.

The taxi driver noticed that I was nervous and thought I’d been thrown out of the country.

“So mate, what have you done? Been selling cigarettes to the kids?”

Ah fuck off! I don’t need this now!

You’ve done it this time you daft cunt.

I got to London and my accommodation, unpacked my rucksack and the gravity hit home. I wept like a cunt for maybe 16 minutes.

Then I had a Creme Egg.

I still had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I tried to put my trust in whatever was guiding me, whether it was my intuition, a God or Jameson’s Whiskey.

Or quite possibly all three.

My first night in London was full of shitty self doubt.

Ever since then I’ve enjoyed living here. I’ve ran 5 times and my most recent runs in Greenwich have been great. I love running up around Greenwich Park. It’s beautiful.

I still miss the hills back home but I’ll be able to run around there again soon.

Why I Left Northern Ireland For London And How Ive Been Enjoying It So Far.

Today I was in St James Park next to Buckingham Palace and saw a woman in a burka feeding a rich tea biscuit to a squirrel.

I don’t know what it was about that particular situation but I heard the following 4 words in my brain.

Welcome. Home. You. Cunt.

Entering The Last Week Of The Angry Jogger Indiegogo Campaign. Quick Thank You To Contributors.

Good news!

I’ve recovered from my fall on Sunday.

I didn’t sleep that well on Sunday night as my side was bruised, scraped and cut so rolling over was quite sore but other than that nothing in broken.

I’ve been sleeping in a shared room and the last thing I wanted to do was to start moaning in the middle of the night. They’d have heard my accent and known exactly what I was up to.

Anyway back on to today’s post.

Thanks to the new Indiegogo contributors!

Jason C, Elizabeth L, Janine B, James A, Steve C and Dr Neil L.

Your pledges are very much appreciated! If you haven’t contributed and want to take advantage of some special perks you can pledge over on the campaign page.

The book is coming along well but I’m going through a phase where everything I write seems like shit and I’m doubting myself too much.

I’m just trying to get all of it out now and I am worrying about editing it later.

At the minute I’m writing a lot of it on my tablet in various train stations and dive bars throughout London’s West End.

I was hoping that new surroundings would bring forth new ideas and they have to an extent but it still doesn’t disguise the fact that I can’t write that well.

Entering The Last Week Of The Angry Jogger Indiegogo Campaign. Quick Thank You To Contributors.

It seems like I’ve still so far to go but it will be OK. Worrying about the book doesn’t get it written.

I think my only regret about the Indiegogo campaign was setting the target a little too high. I’ve been delighted with the response from everyone and am only sad that I didn’t set it to £1,000 instead.

I couldn’t have asked for anymore really in terms of support from you guys so thanks very much.

Yesterday was a much better day than Sunday

I was tired as hell so I struggled around London in a complete haze.

I spent 8 hours walking in random directions and boarding trains back and forth not particularly caring where I was headed.

I largely avoided any mishaps apart from nearly missing the cut off point to collect my laundry and having the same laundry bag rip as I was walking around the back streets of Soho.

Entering The Last Week Of The Angry Jogger Indiegogo Campaign. Quick Thank You To Contributors.

I was not the first nor the last man to have suffered from the inconveniences of a ripped bag in London’s West End.

I love flitting between stations aimlessly but with freedom.

I haven’t grown weary of this great big smoking shit ball that they call London.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt and I think that was the case with back home.

At least here most things are still new to me.

If I get sick of an area in London I can get the tube to the next place. It’s like being able to change the channel. You can’t do that in somewhere as small as Northern Ireland. You feel trapped and claustrophobic.

I started resenting everyone and everything including myself for not having the guts to make the big move.

I’m over here now and that’s all that matters. I’m gonna go out soon on a run try to stay upright this time!

Missing The Brighton Half Marathon 2014 And Running My Own Half Around Greenwich And East London.

So I missed yet another half marathon.

This time it wasn’t from being hungover. It was from incompetence. I didn’t check what time the trains left until I got back to my flat at 11pm Saturday.

The only one that would get me to Brighton on time for the race left Clapham Junction at 6:30am. This would have been OK if the flat I was staying in at the time wasn’t well over a mile away from Wimbledon Station and I didn’t have my rucksack with me.

No to a 4am start.

I’d have had to start packing at 4am to make the race. It just wasn’t doable. I’ve maybe been putting myself under a little too much pressure recently with the 100km, the Indiegogo campaign and the blog.

My sanity comes first before any of this shit.

Still, I’m worried that I’m starting to gain a reputation of being the Pete Doherty of half-marathons in that I’m absolutely poor at what I do and I still don’t show up for most of the races.

Missing The Brighton Half Marathon 2014 And Running My Own Half Around Greenwich And East London.

Today hasn’t been the best of days.

I left my flat at 11am carrying my fucking rucksack. It weighed an absolute ton. It had all of my current worldly belongings in it.

I set out towards my new lodgings which are in the Greenwich area of London. I was on a downer from the start with missing the race.

To make matters worse a mother holding her child in her arms sat next to me on the Tube at Fulham Broadway and the kid immediately started slapping at my head.

I wanted to say “aw fuck love could you please give him some Guinness to calm him down a little?” but she was Spanish and therefore not aware of Irish porridge.

I got up and left 3 stations too early to escape the situation.

I finally got to Canary Wharf and tried to board the train opposite the one I was previously on. I stepped on and quickly realized that it was going to the station I was just at.

I panicked, tried jumping off the train but got my head closed in the doors just as it was closing. I glanced around the carriage and everyone was staring at me. I wanted to shout “what are you fucking looking at you bunch of cunts?” but instead I let out a half assed “WOOF!” at them.

Missing The Brighton Half Marathon 2014 And Running My Own Half Around Greenwich And East London.

I’d already lost all of my dignity and my nerves were shot from all of the sadness from missing the Brighton race.

No one batted an eyelid. This town is used to imbeciles like me who are incandescent with rage from getting their heads lodged in train doors.

I think it was my comeuppance for pissing myself laughing at a woman who got both her head and suitcase trapped at Fulham on Thursday. I couldn’t help myself as it was really fucking funny.

She showed true grit in her leap for glory, but unfortunately the train told her “No.”

A true British hero and a candidate for the “Pride Of Britain” awards.

Running my own half marathon

I checked into my new place in Greenwich at about 2pm and immediately set out on a run around town. I had absolutely no idea about where I was going so just followed an out and back course on a main road towards London Bridge.

The run wasn’t great as the pavements were loaded with shoppers and I didn’t want to have to bark at anyone else.

Thankfully the weather was a lot better than in my few runs through Wimbledon.

My aim for the run was to try to find my way around the local area and bring my weekly mileage tally up to 30 miles.

The Fall.

Tragedy struck at mile 12 as the sun set. I tripped over uneven pavement and landed on my arm. I went down very hard and had cuts all down my arm and right leg.

A group of kids saw and most importantly heard me go down. Most of them laughed and one little dickhead yelled “BOOF!” which was a very accurate depiction of my fall.

I jumped right up, laughed it off like it was all a big joke and then crawled the rest of the 1.1 miles in agony. By now it was pitch dark and I just wanted it to finish.

I completed the run in 2:17 which is 10 minutes slower than my Brighton time in 2013. I wanted to run further than the 13 miles but I was really disheartened from tripping so I just stopped then.

Morale of today, I’m glad I keep continuing!

I’m quite happy that I continued. Missing races for me is a real fucking low point and I always feel like I’ve let myself down afterward.

But you know what? I’ve missed plenty of races in the past and I’ve always come back stronger. All I need to do is to keep getting up every time I’m down.

It’s really that easy.

How Living In London Has Impacted My Fitness.

Hi guys,

Tonight I should have been taking a picture of myself awkwardly in front of my mirror at home, but I no longer have a mirror. Instead I’m gonna talk about some of the benefits and drawbacks of living in London so far when it comes to my fitness.

When I came here I naively thought that the weight would drop off me. I believed that I’d be too busy walking from Wimbledon to Camden every day to to eat any of the old shit.

That hasn’t been the case!

I haven’t weighed myself this week as my scales are back home but I can tell that I’ve probably put on a pound or two on whilst settling in.

The weight gain is not something I’m overly concerned about, but at the same time I’m not making the same amount of progress that I was in January.

Truth be told I’m really fucking afraid ahead of the 100km now too.  I should have been making leaps forward with my fitness every day, yet here I am struggling to maintain it.

It’s not all bad though!

How Living In London Has Impacted My Fitness.

How London is helping me maintain my fitness

  1. I’m walking a lot more - London is fucking huge and there’s so much of it to explore that I’ve found myself naturally walking a lot more.
  2. I’m busier so I’ve less time to be bored and to comfort eat - This was my greatest problem at home. I’d have nothing at all on my mind and would try to fill the void with junk food.
  3. I’m happier during the day as there’s more to see and do - And when I’m happy I tend to become hyperactive. That makes me naturally do more physical shit.
  4. There are new places to run and that makes me excited - I spent years running circles in the same area of my home town. I was starting to dread each run because of this. Now I don’t know any of the areas I’m running in and every jog is an adventure.

How London is maybe reducing my fitness

  1. I’ve less money so I’m buying the cheapest shit available to eat - And cheap typically isn’t healthy when it’s off a market stall.
  2. I’ve fallen out of any type of fitness routine - I still run but not as often as back home. There’s just not as much time now that I’m writing the book, applying for jobs, blogging and running. It’s wearing me out.
  3. There’s so much more choice of the junk food that I love - Hot chocolate brownies everywhere! Delicious.
    How Living In London Has Impacted My Fitness.
  4. London is scary to run in - I don’t think London is really that much dangerous than any other large city to run in, but when you’re from a small town like I am it’s easy to get phased by the amount of traffic around. It’s not just the volume of vehicles on the road, it’s the size of the fucking buses that pass you every minute.
  5. I have a weekly travelcard and it’s making me a little lazy - I’ve noticed in the last few days I’m less willing to walk between tube stations that are almost next to each other.
  6. I get stressed out more and I sometimes feel lonely - And to ease that I sometimes go to the bar before getting the tube home to have a pint. That’s obviously not good for me as booze only makes you feel more lonely and it gives you a beer gut. Not pleasant.

Surviving My First Ever Run In London Where The Weather Was Stormy As Hell.

I managed my first ever run in London today. It was 10 miles through some of the worst weather I have ever experienced. I’m still picking hail out of my teeth as we speak.

It was great just getting out into a new area for once. My aim was to try to run to Kingston-Upon-Thames and back but unfortunately got some abuse off a bunch of builders who were fixing part of the pavement on my journey there.

By this point in the run I was so wet that my skin was showing through my t-shirt. The boys in fluorescent jackets obviously thought I was their entertainment for the afternoon so started jeering me.

I turned around before I reached them. I should have just ran at them with rape in my eyes but my legs can’t carry me hard and fast enough to seem like a threat.

I wouldn’t have minded their bullshit if they’d stuffed a £5 note down my ass-crack, but they looked like cheap bastards.

Here’s the run in question.

The positive thing is that I managed to keep on running and survived the worst that London had to throw at me. Here are some tips on how to run when it’s stormy and you’re running in a new place.

Surviving a run when the weather’s shit and you’re fucking lost.

  1. Don’t blame the weather - For the mid 3 miles of my run I was cursing the Queen and David fucking Cameron for owning a stupid fucking country where it rained so hard. The Queen did not stop her rain for me. I tried kicking the pavement out of frustration and nearly tripped up over my own legs. The Queen laughed.
    Surviving My First Ever Run In London Where The Weather Was Stormy As Hell.
  2. Stop feeling sorry for yourself - It’s a distraction and it doesn’t help you. You chose to come out running for a reason. Continue on with what you started. Don’t stop running out of self-pity, you’ll just hate yourself all the fucking more and the run won’t be finished any quicker.
  3. Be wary of running on busy roads when the winds are strong – I had to lean away from the road today as there were several gusts of wind that were so strong they nearly blew me off my feet. I was up on a bridge too. Serious panic ensued.
  4. Sometimes the wind will always be blowing against you - Again it’s nothing personal. You’ll have an equal number of runs where it’s always at your back. Make the best of any situation that you encounter.
  5. Ignore all the fuckers who fire abuse at you - Builders, angry men in traffic or other pedestrians. Don’t even bother flipping them the bird. They aren’t worth it.
    Surviving My First Ever Run In London Where The Weather Was Stormy As Hell.
  6. Your legs don’t give a shit about the weather - And they will carry you forward. Stop living in your bitchy brain and instead focus on the motion through your legs. Your mind creates problems that don’t exist.
  7. Sometimes the weather will be that bad that you can’t see even a foot in front of you - When the hailstones were blowing into my face I couldn’t see anything. But  I knew I’d reach a point where I’d be running with the wind at my back and I’d be able to see properly again. Until then I slowed down and focused on not wearing like a bastard in front of pedestrians.
  8. Don’t believe those who say you can’t get any wetter - I thought that too until today when a lorry sprayed me with a shit tonne of water that was lying on the road surface. I’d only just dried my glasses too and now I was back to being unable to see again. Fucking whore. I hope he/she burns.
  9. Don’t wait for the good weather to come - Especially now in Britain when it seems to be permanently hurricane season here. The temptation can be to wait until Spring to put your running shoes on. By the time the better weather comes around you want to be fit enough to enjoy your running. If you can thrive in bad running conditions then you’ll love running when the climate is better.
  10. Don’t worry about getting lost - I was running in random directions around a City I don’t know at all well. I didn’t worry. I knew I’d be able to make it back. That’s the beauty of being a runner, you’re never lost for that long as your body is your mode of transport!

 

My First Post From London, England. I’m Starting To Settle!

Hello everyone. I’m reporting now from my 2nd night in London and it’s been an interesting 48 hours.

I arrived yesterday afternoon and I got off the plane from Belfast and thought “Jesus. You did it at last! You crazy badger!”

My First Post From London, England. Im Starting To Settle!

Last night was hell though if only in my mind. I was doubting everything I’d ever done in my life up to and including the point where I boarded the flight to London.

Why London? Why now?

Why not?

As much as I loved running on the hills back home I was getting tired of everything.

I’ve lived in Northern Ireland for all 30 years of all my life and the time had come where I knew I’d regret not at least trying to live in a new place.

It’s not that I hate home. It’s just I’ve seen everything hundreds of millions of times now and I’m worn to it and it leaves me feeling old.

I want excitement, I want a challenge, I want fun. I want life to be great.

I don’t want to be a curmudgeon anymore!

Writer’s block and no fun.

I was running out of ideas to put down for February in my book. It read like fucking shit. Here’s a paraphrased excerpt from that part.

’2nd February – I ran around the hills. 3rd February – I ran around the hills. 4th February – Overdosed on Pot Noodles – ran around the hills.’

Maybe I’ve no imagination. Maybe I should have been more pro-active in running through new parts of the countryside. Maybe the nagging part of my brain is right and I am actually fucked beyond repair.

I don’t fucking know.

What I do know is that today was a good day. I woke up and applied for a few jobs in the field I love, went for lunch in Camden and then spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost around Carnaby Street.

It’s amazing how revitalizing new experiences are to your spirit.

My First Post From London, England. Im Starting To Settle!

I’m now back in my shared room writing this post and some more of the book.

The best part of all this is that I feel alive again. I don’t think that’s totally a positive thing. I’m terrified that all of this will go wrong and I won’t be able to live happily in England or anywhere else for that matter.

It’s worth a shot though and I’m taking it a day at a time and enjoying all the small things.

I’m hoping that this decision will be as formative as my decision to run for the first time properly in December 2010.

Time will only tell. I won’t make my life any better by being negative about it.

Small steps. Keep pushing forward.

Running For Weight Loss – Week 5 – 1lb Weight Loss

I’ll start again tonight with a thank you to all of the recent Indiegogo contributors.

Yvonne H, Mr Snazzy Cracker! once more, Natalie R, Mark J, Nikki R, The Physio Woman Who Didn’t Leave Her Name, Cathy R, Aaron Pollock, G Denny, M Shearwood, Shane McC, Run & Jump Aidan and Jason C.

Thanks very much for your contributions. I will make this book the best I can make it and I love all of you!

Tonight’s Post.

Tonight I’m very glad to announce that I’ve lost a pound!

I’m aware that my campaign to transform myself from a half-arsed Irish lackey into a finely tuned athlete hasn’t exactly been awe-inpsiring but I’m doing my best.

Running For Weight Loss   Week 5   1lb Weight Loss

Tomorrow I’m flying out to London to stay for a while as I love the City and I’m bored beyond hell of living here.

It means I’m gonna be running the Brighton Half Marathon after all.

My post tonight is about signs that you’ve progressed as a runner without necessarily losing weight. For the past 3 or 4 weeks I haven’t really been losing anything but I’ve been growing stronger and these are the things I’ve noticed.

  1. How your running clothes fit you (not always good) - The disadvantage about losing weight is that you will find yourself pulling up your running shorts a lot on your trek out. Especially if there is no tie mechanism at the front end.
  2. How strong you can finish - I’ve been finishing my 10 milers with a lot of strength recently and it’s only become fun with my new Asics. Before I felt every stone on the way down home.
  3. How you feel after each run - This is the most important factor for new runners. If you feel like shit after every single run then there’s more chance that you’ll just stop. I’ve been feeling great after most of my recent runs with a few exceptions!
  4. How long you can run for - I did 16 miles on a casual run around the hills around town on Tuesday which led to me thinking I’d fucked my knees up good. Thankfully that was not the case.
  5. Your strength on hills - On yesterday’s run for the first time ever I sprinted up a hill. A couple where peacefully walking their dog together and there I was fucking storming up past them with a face like thunder.
  6. Mental strength on the run - I only really get negative thoughts when my body is struggling. If my mind is clear or there are positive thoughts in my head then that’s a sign that I’m getting better.

Should Running Be Introduced As A Form Of Punishment In UK Schools?

A friend sent me this article about Brendan Foster’s response to the UK government introducing running as a form of punishment in schools. 

I thought I’d use tonight’s post to highlight why this is a really fucking bad idea.

I hated running as a school boy.

I was always being made to run laps around the pitch in games as I was fucking terrible at Rugby which was the game our school played.

I was tall and fat enough to be a forward which meant I was always put in the scrum. I didn’t enjoy sticking my head in between other men’s legs. I’m fully supportive of that lifestyle, but I wasn’t really Fabulous enough to get my kicks from it.

Should Running Be Introduced As A Form Of Punishment In UK Schools?

I’d show my disdain by staying as far away from the ball as possible whilst standing around to conserve energy (I’ve always been efficient if nothing else).

Whenever a teacher caught me slacking off I’d be made to run laps of the pitch which I hated only slightly less than Rugby.

From this I associated running with pain and punishment.

We did some cross country in school too, but again it wasn’t something I enjoyed as I was unfit and was always racing boys who were quite athletic.

I’d only get competitive with the other kids who hated running. It was a race to see who could achieve second last place!

Teachers aren’t to blame.

I kinda sympathise with sports teachers though as they don’t have much time allocated to them to get kids to enjoy running.

With the little time they have they need to work in intensive sessions and naturally those are gonna be quite painful.

The sad thing is, I don’t think there’s an answer to this.

Schools couldn’t waste 3 hours letting kids plod through the countryside to try to introduce running as a fun way to relax.

Personally I just had no interest in running at the time and there’s nothing anyone could have done to have persuaded me otherwise.

Punishing me with more running would have only made me hate running more.

A suggestion to Michael Gove and the Conservative coalition.

Should Running Be Introduced As A Form Of Punishment In UK Schools?
Please check the filename of the image above for my opinion of this man.

If Michael Gove and his conservative friends are so interested in promoting “traditional family values” he should introduce on the spot Rugby games as a deterrent from the big gay lifestyle and leave running alone.

It would have scared me straight and I wouldn’t have experimented with mascara and David Bowie LPs as a teenager.

36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person

  1. Through running you learn to channel your addictive personality in a good way - It’s too easy to view an addictive personality as a solely negative trait. For most of my adult life I was addicted to cake and pastries. Then I developed a love of booze. Neither of these habits were healthy or fulfilling.  It’s only recently that I’ve developed a healthy addiction to running. It’s left me wondering what other activities are out there that I could become hooked on!
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  2. You stop letting setbacks derail you from your goal - Every marathon schedule is dogged with problems at some point. You quickly learn to work around any issues that you experience and to move forward unfazed. As a result of all of this you become more determined as an individual.
  3. You learn to never give up - Even though your performances may have been disappointed you in the past, you refuse to give up.  I was close to dropping out of my first ever ultramarathon at least 3 times. I knew how disappointed I’d feel about the DNF and kept putting one foot in front of the other until I was home.
  4. You learn to have compassion for others - When you see other runners struggling in a race or with their training, you want to encourage them as you’ve already been through all of that pain yourself.  You make the road less lonely for other people.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  5. You take control of your own life - You take responsibility for your lifestyle choices and your training schedule. You can try blaming the weather, your luck or anything else but ultimately your success or failure rests upon your attitude.
  6. You start to look inwardly for peace and contentment on the run and rely less on external pleasures - I’ve learned that if I manage to find peace within myself whilst I’m running then the run itself will pass more quickly.  The deeper the peace I feel whilst running, the more it spills over into every day life. When my mind is clear and my heart is content I’ve no need for junk food or Enya videos anymore.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  7. You learn to work through your self doubt - If doubt has stopped you in your tracks before then successfully completing a race will show you that you can still question your own character and make it through unscathed. Your doubts are just echoes of who other people thought you were in the past.
  8. You become more humble as a person - The guys who win the race finish in half the time it takes you to get to the halfway point. You start to see your minor running achievements in real light and give credit where it’s due.
  9. You begin to question your own limits as a human and a runner - Before I started running I assumed that I was gonna be a fat man who hated exercise forever. When I trained for my first marathon I thought I was only gonna complete one race before returning to a full time junk food diet. Running has made me question my limits to the point where I’m now running a 100km in less than 4 months time. I’ve stopped imposing limits on myself as I genuinely don’t know what I’m capable of anymore. I’ll let my legs continue to surprise me.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  10. You learn to make the most of your life - You can either sit around all day and wait for life to happen or you can go outside now and kickstart your life. Running makes me feel like I’m ready for anything.
  11. Your life becomes more structured thanks to running - I run at the same time during the week and I’ve adapted my schedule to fit everything in around it. This is crucial for me as I used to spend my weekends drinking alcohol or sleeping off hangovers. When I have a tight schedule to adhere to I’m less likely to lose myself in self destructive tendencies.
  12. You become grateful for having your health - If you’ve ever been injured for any length of time whatsoever you quickly learn that you were taking being able to run for granted.  Eventually there will come a time when we won’t be physically capable of running so we need to make the most of it now.
  13. You become disciplined - It takes a lot of effort to get up at 5am on a cold winter’s morning to do a tempo run as part of marathon training. Over time your body and mind adjusts to the routine and it becomes easier to do it as it becomes a habit. People will think you’re insane and ask you how you manage to do it. By now it’s second nature to you.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  14. You start to encourage others - Even if it’s just a simply smile and a hello when you see another runner outside, or offering advice and encouragement through social media sites like Dailymile and Twitter.
  15. You care more for your own mental health - Your mental health is vital to your running. If you’re feeling hopelessly depressed even getting out of bed can be a chore. You can ease the symptoms of depression by running regularly and eating right. The better you take care of yourself, the stronger you will feel going forward. You don’t have to let depression control your life, you can fight back now.
  16. You become much more resilient to pain - Weathering discomfort on a difficult run strengthens your tolerance to pain whether mental or physical. You know that you’ll be able to survive whatever life throws at you if you keep positive.
  17. You feel no guilt for living the runner’s lifestyle - When I was fat I felt a lot of guilt about letting my body get into that condition. My lifestyle at the time was horrendous. I ate nothing but kebabs and drank far too much alcohol. Now I’m much more responsible when it comes to my health and I feel no shame about my lifestyle.
  18. You’re constantly trying to improve yourself - We are always striving to run faster, for longer or over more difficult terrain. We learn so much through the course of our training that we can adapt and perform better next time. We’re never satisfied with our results. I personally have never been 100% happy with my race times as I’ve always thought something like “why couldn’t I have just ran that last bit harder?”.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  19. Running makes you more assertive - You stop wishing for a better life and start creating one for yourself. For most of my 20′s I sat around waiting for a good life to come to me. It never happens unless you go out there now and make your own dream life a reality.
  20. You don’t let stress affect you in the same way - When you’re running you can learn to cut out the negative inner chatter that contributes to stress. Thoughts like “you’re gonna fail” or “you’re not good enough” create tension inside as you revisit old pain. You can apply the same idea of silencing your mind to make everyday life easier.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  21. You stop defining yourself by past failures - Instead of focusing on the shit you did wrong in the past, you work on masterminding a better future version of yourself. You can’t do anything about your past other than to learn from it. You can only improve your future by working on it now in the present.
  22. Running makes you more courageous - It takes a lot of gall to enter a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon race when you haven’t even came close to those distances in the past. It takes even more guts to get to the starting line after months of training with little to no idea of what lays ahead for you.
  23. You learn to laugh at yourself and stop taking life so seriously - Sure it’s great to take running seriously and to try to beat your best times, but you can’t deny that you look hilarious in all of your official race photographs.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  24. You stop taking failure personally - You can only achieve what you’re capable of at any one moment. If you fail it’s down to your preparation and not due to an inherent character flaw that can’t be resolved. When I fucked up and ran badly at the Paris Marathon 2013 I knew my pre-race preparation was to blame and that I could fix it and therefore run a better race. I did just that in the Dublin Marathon 2013 and I’m hoping for even better this year.
  25. You become  ambitious - First you wanted to complete a 5k. Then a 10k. Then a half marathon. Then you a marathon. Then you start shooting for sub x hour times in your races. You won’t stop pushing on and on and you’re not quite certain where it could take you! It’s exciting!
  26. You experience less anger in every day life - If you’re feeling frustrated or annoyed at some aspect of your life you can use that negative energy as fuel to go outside and run. Whenever I’m really fucking annoyed at anything I’ll go out for a tempo run and by the 5 mile mark I’ll have forgotten what I was so mad about!
  27. You stop feeling sorry for yourself - There are others out there who run regularly who are ill or generally less able than you are. You start to appreciate that you’re lucky to have this amount of control over your own situation. We can only do our best with the circumstances we’re handed in life.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  28. You become more patient - You don’t expect results overnight. You know that progress happens thanks to dedication and hard work over time. You don’t lose patience just because you haven’t managed to shed all of your excess body fat within a month.
  29. Your self esteem and confidence improves - Every race you complete you feel that bit better about yourself regardless of whether you’ve achieved a new best time or not. You’ve provided to yourself that you’re capable of finishing a long distance race again.
  30. You integrate with a community - Runners tend to be a like-minded bunch of people who have overcome similar problems to you in the past. By integrating with them you feel much less alone in life.
  31. You become open to new experiences  - I’ve been to America and France to run marathons and I don’t wanna stop there. I want to run in as many countries as possible and explore new cultures. I’m eager to try out different sports and workout regimes to improve my fitness. And I’m only getting started.
    36 Ways Running Improves Your Life & Makes You A Stronger, Better Person
  32. You start to influence other people in a positive manner - Your passion for running inspires others to take up the sport as well! I love it when I get an email from a reader who says thats that they started running because of this blog. You can have a positive impact on others.
  33. You don’t become overwhelmed as easily in life - You work towards rectifying your problems step by step rather than freaking out about the enormity of the task ahead. Taking a step-by-step approach like this in the last section of a race is essential if you want to run through the wall. Celebrating every step you make forward will get you over the finish line. You can apply the same technique to complex situations in your personal life.
  34. You worry less and do more - You learn that there’s absolutely no point in worrying about your future performance in races whilst there’s still time to train for the event. It doesn’t make sense to stress about a marathon in 3 months time when you can use that energy to move towards your goal.
  35. You stop comparing yourself so much to others - You no longer worry about what other people are doing and focus entirely on running your own best race. If you take heart over someone else failing then you’ll feel just as bad when someone else succeeds. To be successful you need to acknowledge success and study the reasons for it. It doesn’t happen because of luck or genes.
  36. You grow a thick skin - You stop caring what irrelevant people think about you. You get so many insults hurled in your direction as a runner that it washes over you. This gives you the freedom to be whoever you want to be.

 

11 Thoughts To Help You Combat Your Junk Food Urges As A Runner

My greatest shortcoming as a runner is arguably my diet. I’ve succumbed to junk food far too often and it’s been responsible for a reversal in my progress at some points in the last few years.

At the moment I’m faring much better with my eating, but that’s not to say that I’m perfect. Last night I had 2 Mars Bars, some fried chicken and a huge pot of Onken.

I woke up feeling wretched because of my choices. Coupled with the fact I think I’ve got runner’s knee after my 16 miler yesterday, I’m not in great spirits tonight.

Anyway here are a few ideas that you can use to battle your junk food cravings.

11 thoughts to battle your junk food urges.

  1. You will regret eating poorly later - I have never eaten 3 Mars Bars and thought “Jesus, that was great!”. I’m usually too busy drowning in a sea of caramel and shame. You can battle the urge by focusing not on the deliciousness of the treat but on the shitty sugar coma afterwards.
    11 Thoughts To Help You Combat Your Junk Food Urges As A Runner
  2. You are eating into your running progress if you choose to eat this way - How long will it take you to burn off all of the extra calories that you’ve consumed? Let’s say that you’ve ran 5 miles today. Eating a large cheeseburger on top of your daily calorie allowance will likely undo all of the extra energy you’ve burnt on the run. My typical response to this is “Well I can burn it off tomorrow!”. In the past this has meant that I’ve struggled to make any progress with my running as I was always making up for my excesses from the previous today. Fuck that! Skip the extra portion of crap and choose to move forward now!
  3. Junk food doesn’t bring you any lasting joy - In fact I always feel positively miserable if I wake up with a stomach full of KFC (and that’s not to mention the KFC shits…..fuck!). The only way I’ve brought real happiness into my life is through eating properly and running regularly.
    11 Thoughts To Help You Combat Your Junk Food Urges As A Runner
  4. Succumbing to junk food has a negative impact on your willpower - Once you start giving into junk food then you’re also more likely to give in when the going gets tough on a run. You need your body and your mind to be working together in the same direction to become a better runner. Every time you give in to temptation you weaken your will a little. You’re always in control of every decision you make. Do the right thing.
  5. Excessive carb loading on junk before a long run will leave you bloated - I subscribed to the belief that it was impossible to eat too much sugar before a race. I was wrong. Before the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon I ate all of the food in the picture shown below. At the starting line I was so bloated that it dented my confidence. You don’t need to be feeding your face nonstop before a race to perform at your best. It can actually harm your performance.
    11 Thoughts To Help You Combat Your Junk Food Urges As A Runner
  6. Once you start eating some junk food, then the temptation is to eat more and more - I cannot stop at one Snickers. If I’ve been eating healthily for a while and then give in to chocolate I will think I’ve failed myself and eat all of the fucking chocolate going.
  7. Weight gain through fatty food makes running more difficult - Running for me isn’t fun when I’m overweight. I experience chub rub, runner’s knee and shin splints after gaining weight. I’m also more self conscious when I’m out running as my clothes never fit as well. It all feeds into a vicious cycle where I run less because I feel awful and eat more junk to stop feeling awful. The best long-term solution is to cut down on the fatty food altogether.
  8. Fast food is never as great as you think it will be before you do the eating - In my imagination a chocolate sundae with be the solution to all of my problems whether real or imagined. Dessert may quieten my mind whilst I’m eating it but afterwards I will be thinking “why the fuck did you just eat that? Oh well! The damage is now, let’s bring on seconds!”
    11 Thoughts To Help You Combat Your Junk Food Urges As A Runner
  9. Junk food will often leave you feeling powerless - And when you’re feeling down you’re less likely to run. To achieve your running goals you need to be in a place where you’re in control and excited about the future. Excessive junk food consumption can put you into a slump that can be hard to reverse out of. You don’t have to go there.
  10. Junk food cravings are often a sign of boredom and not real hunger - You need an action plan to do something positive when this happens. Read a book or go on a walk. If you’re feeling desperately unhappy then try masturbating to a documentary on the collapse of the Soviet Union. Work your body hard and not just your pie hole for once.
  11. You aren’t rewarding or helping yourself with fast food - The trap is to view junk food as a reward for all of your efforts as a runner. The irony is that you aren’t rewarding yourself at all this way. You’re actually undermining your efforts! This is not to say that you can’t have the odd portion of chocolate or pizza. It only becomes a problem when you reward yourself with nothing but crap. If you think back to all of the work you put into training for a race, is it really worth sacrificing all of that for more pie?

How do you battle junk food urges when they hit?

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.

Today I went out and hammered out another 16 mile run around the hills. It was a beautiful day for running and my body felt so strong that I kept on running further and further into the countryside.

I’d only planned on running 8 miles so I didn’t bring any drinks or gels with me.

Surprisingly I ran one of my greatest negative splits to date with each of my last 3 miles being sub 9 minute. I’ve checked the timing for my last 5k and I came in at 26:55 which is my fastest ever!

At the moment I totally fucking love hill running.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Back when I was 280lbs I hated the notion of hills. Walking up them would make me all sweaty and out of breath. I’d have serious shin splints after 5 minutes of slow walking.

I’d sweat right through my clothes and would have to change when I got home. It was embarrassing and I did anything I could to avoid any form of strenuous exercise because of this.

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.
Loved them pies. Hated them hills.

Even the uphill jaunt to my house from the shopping centre was too much for me. So much so that I’d always call a taxi to take me the mile ‘journey’ home.

Still hating on the hills.

In my first few years as a runner I still fucking hated them with a passion. I could never maintain the same pace that I could on even ground.

I always kept to a flat route around town and put them to the back of my mind until race day where I’d be daunted by the prospect of any climbing whatsoever.

My first half marathon in Larne consisted of the greatest hill I’d ran to date. To say that I was unprepared for it is an understatement.

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.

I stopped halfway up the climb to catch my breath and swore at the hill for existing.

I would have shaken my fist at it too but there were other runners around me at the time and I didn’t want to appear off my tits on disco biccies.

Suffice to say, my anger at the hill did not make it disappear.

That’s the thing about hills. They do exist. You can ignore them until race day like I did, or you can work with them to improve as a runner.

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.

Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I can see that I wasn’t fearful of the hills as such, rather I was worried about being exposed as unfit.

It was the same deal when I was obese. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I was really out of shape.

I just wanted to stay within my bubble and get wankered on German biscuits.

You can only really begin to improve your fitness by accepting where you are now.

Rather than viewing them as an unnecessary nuisance, I try to see hills as a natural way to improve as a runner.

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.

They’ll always catch me out at some point, leaving me hopelessly out of breath and begging for death.

But that’s the feedback that I need to gauge where I am fitness wise.

I started on them this time last year and I remember running uphill for maybe 2 minutes and turning back down out of exhaustion.

I viewed it as a dismal failure at the time as it was my goal to make it to the top.

I didn’t give up.

Over the next few months I lowered my expectations a little and celebrated any progress I made with them.

I’d make it 3 minutes up the hill. Then 5 minutes. Then 10.

Then eventually I made it all the way.

It takes some time, but you too can start to love hill running if you give it a chance and start slowly.

You can either begin with running up a little hill, or running a little up a huge hill.

It all counts and it will make you a stronger run!

P.S. Today’s run wasn’t all positive.

Two dogs broke out of a hillside farm. Both were tailing me for a quarter of a mile. I had to slow down to prove that I wasn’t afraid of them.

I said ‘hello!’ numerous times to the biggest one which I think was the ringleader.

It knew I was a suspicious looking bastard and it could smell the fear off me. I wanted to sprint away but it would have caught me.

How I Went From Hating Hills To Loving Them As I Do Today.

Fortunately both of them got bored and fucked off. But for 10 minutes I was the Pied Piper of East fucking Antrim.

How To Build Running Stamina And Why It’s Important To Do So.

One of the most crucial aspects to my ultra-marathon training at the moment is improving my stamina.

I’m slowly working my way up to a series of 50km long runs through early Spring and I’m having to start now on 20+ mile runs to be sure my body & mind are ready for the challenge.

It doesn’t just apply to ultra distances either. Having a vest reserve of stamina can make running and racing more enjoyable as you can focus all of your attention onto how good it feels to be in motion..

Why is stamina important?

It’s arguably the cornerstone of long distance training. If you’ve no endurance then all of the speed in the world won’t see you through a marathon race.

Here are a few points outlining what stamina can do for you as a runner.

How To Build Running Stamina And Why Its Important To Do So.

  1. Once you have a base amount of stamina you can concentrate fully on developing your pace - For example if you’re new to half marathons then training to run that distance regularly will allow you to experiment with your pace as you know you can cover the distance
  2. Greater stamina allows you to run further - This sounds obvious but the key point is that once you can run for longer you can start to train for even greater distances. As of 2014 I can run 10 miles with the same amount of physical and mental effort as it took to run 3 miles in 2011. I’ve said this many times before but increasing your distance incrementally over a longer period of time will make you stronger and the risk of injury will be minimal.
  3. Your body recovers much more quickly from long runs as your endurance levels increase - If you’ve just started with long slow runs then the chances are that you won’t be in a state to run again for at least a few days after it. The longer you practice these long runs the more quickly your body will rebound from the effort. These days I can run the next day after an 18-20 miler and not be in any pain at all during the run. This would have been impossible even a year ago for me! My ultimate aim is to be able to run 20 milers back to back before May!
  4. When you stamina increases you suddenly realise that your body is capable of more than you previously thought possible - And that gives you so much more confidence to try out new race distances and more intensive training schedules. You begin to push yourself to your limits. You start to realise that mental stamina is arguably even more important than anything physical. Trying to push your mind through the monotony of a long run is a huge task.
  5. Stamina allows you to finish strong in the last half of a race - There’s nothing like finishing with a sprint to boost your race time and your self belief. Having to drop into a death crawl to cross the finishing line is never a pleasant experience. That’s why it’s better to truly test and increase your stamina in your training runs. Save your spent sex-face for the lonely trails and not for the race-day photographer!
    How To Build Running Stamina And Why Its Important To Do So.
  6. You will rarely feel unprepared for a race -  Ever had that sinking feeling a race where you know you haven’t trained enough for it and are ready to crash? It doesn’t have to be that way if you work consistently on improving your stamina. With enough effort you know that you’ll at the very least have the strength to finish the race.
  7. You can enter and complete more races too - If like me you sometimes want to enter all of the races but are worried that your body won’t be able to cope with the load, increasing your stamina will mean that you’ve more opportunities to run.

How you can increase your running stamina

  1. Be more active generally - Walk more often, participate on a sport or do some cross training. All of these activities will add to your base fitness levels. Walking 10,000 steps a day throughout the Summer and Autumn of 2010 was something that made running that much easier when I first started out. Everything you do counts!
    How To Build Running Stamina And Why Its Important To Do So.
  2. Don’t stop running after you’ve finished a training schedule - The temptation can be to quit training altogether once you’ve completed a race. Don’t lose all the fitness gains you’ve made by giving up on running entirely. Stay focused and try to stick to a minimum base weekly mileage so that you can easily drop back into full training mode. Try to keep the long runs going too.
  3. Drop your pace way down now and again - On the long run I typically run 30 seconds a mile slower than my regular runs during the week. Sometimes it pays to just forget about your pace altogether and concentrate on moving for as long as possible. The looming 100k in May has forced me into trying to run at a 12 minute mile, just to see how long I can keep going at that pace.
  4. Be patient - It will take some time to build up your stamina but you can make the process happen a lot more quickly by running as often as you can throughout the week and sticking to a healthy diet.
  5. Push yourself but listen to your body - There’s a very fine line between pushing hard and overworking yourself. Listen to any pain/distress signals that your body is producing and never run if you’re in doubt about a possible injury or niggle.
  6. Do some speed work - Performing speed work increases your pace and allows you to run at the same speed with less effort. For example I’ve been running most of my long runs at 10:30 min/mile recently. I’ve been doing tempo runs at about 9:15 minute/mile for the past fortnight. Now I can manage 10:30 min/mile easily on the long runs. It means I can go further.

Running For Weight Loss – Week 4 Of Ultramarathon Training – Gained Weight

Bad news.

I’ve put on weight this week. I’m now officially 210lbs on the dot. Balls!

Running For Weight Loss   Week 4 Of Ultramarathon Training   Gained Weight

I’m not too fussed about this, my clothes are fitting well and my body shape has definitely changed for the better over the past 4 weeks.

It means that I ‘only’ lost 7lbs in January. I was aiming for a bit more but fuck it! 7lbs in a month is a victory.

Today was long run Sunday.

I wasn’t expecting to achieve much after stopping at 8 on my aborted long run on Monday.

Fortunately I knew today was gonna be different from the start. My legs were strong and had no difficulty in sticking to an easy 10:30 min/mile pace.

Here’s a quick summary of the good and the bad from the run.

The good from the long run

  1. I managed a 20 mile+ run for the first time this year. It was my longest run of 2014 by over 1.7 miles!
  2. I ran over 380m uphill. That’s the most I’ve ever achieved in a single run. I’m starting to gain confidence with hills again. If I can keep climbing them then I’ll continue to get stronger.
  3. I ran 50 miles for the week over only 4 runs. That’s a 12.5 mile average. 3 of my last 4 weeks have now been 50+ milers. I’m starting February in a strong position!
  4. I carried on for 4 miles with a stone in my shoe. I wanted to stop to shake it out but I was worried about cramping up and not starting again. I can’t wait for my new shoes to arrive. I’ve put over 1000 miles into the New Balance and it’s really showing.
  5. I lightened up and said ‘hello’ to a nice pony whilst up in the country. Usually I take running too seriously so this was definitely a positive.
    Running For Weight Loss   Week 4 Of Ultramarathon Training   Gained Weight

The bad after the long run.

There’s always bad. Tonight is no exception.

  1. The throbbing pain inside my legs - Fortunately this has eased somewhat thanks to a few Ibuprofen.
  2. The spasms and cramps in my hands - I’m not the kind of runner who slices through the air with his hands whilst running. I tend to hold them out in the same place like I’m a cornered squirrel begging for a nut. It’s fucking infuriating. I can barely hold a glass of water.
    Running For Weight Loss   Week 4 Of Ultramarathon Training   Gained Weight
  3. The awful nausea deep in my stomach - It just won’t shift. It’s quite possibly worse than hangover sickness (albeit without any of the awful emotional shit).
  4. My dodgy stomach - My stomach is growling in sentences. It really sounds upset. Don’t wanna be up all night shitting Like Herod.
  5. The knowledge that I have to do this all over again some day soon - Next week but only for longer and at a quicker pace. Fuck that noise. I’m gonna enjoy my rest whilst it lasts.
  6. The cramps in my feet - Which make it look like I’m about to break into a Riverdancesque jig. It’s embarrassing when this happens in public. Thank fuck I’m at home. More worried that I’ll fall through the floorboards if my foot ceases up during the night.
    Running For Weight Loss   Week 4 Of Ultramarathon Training   Gained Weight
  7. The insatiable thirst that I can’t cure because of the nausea - Water tastes vile. I had a glass of Tesco Fizzio Zero and it made me gag. I’m hoping this passes soon otherwise I’ll be forced into downing a pot of Onken in one go out of desperation.
  8. The awful dilemma of sitting in my own sweat or crawling into the shower - Both options appeal to me like a kick to the cock.
  9. I’m exhausted but I can’t lie down in bed - If something cramps in bed then my whole body will spasm. And then I will start to cry in pain as if a hawk has made a home in my hole.

I’m sorry that this post is a day late and a bit shit, I’m going to bed.

How Running Helped Me Overcome My Harmful Weekend Binge Drinking

It’s 8am here and I’m wide awake and I’m in a great mood. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and your mother is on line 1.

It wasn’t always this way for me on Saturday mornings.

For most of my early 20′s I’d get wasted every weekend.

I’d drink to get drunk. I used to pre-load a lot in the house with spirits to try to save some money. Then it got to the point where I was pre-loading for some Dutch courage.

I’d start out friendly. I’d repress all negative sentiment. Then I’d drink some more and start to hurt inside a little.

Then something inside my head would switch and I’d typically become very depressed. I could never understand where the mood came from and assumed it was someone else’s fault.

How Running Helped Me Overcome My Harmful Weekend Binge Drinking

I simply didn’t know when to stop drinking. I was always chasing peace of mind through the bottle thinking that I’d eventually hit a sweet spot where I’d see the light, my life would come in clear focus and I’d find the answers.

This could end in a number of ways and it’d never be good.

  • I’d take to Twitter or Facebook and start on some rants. Religion and politics were my favourite topics. I used to take pride in alienating as many people as possible.
  • I wouldn’t wake until about 1pm the next day as I knew I’d have a lot of clearing up to do on Facebook, Twitter and via SMS. It was exhausting trying to cover my tracks. The hangover paranoia was dreadful and absurd ideas would enter my brain.
    How Running Helped Me Overcome My Harmful Weekend Binge Drinking
    “Oh fuck, I didn’t piss in the wardrobe, did I?” 
  • If I was out at a bar I’d typically fall asleep at our table and be escorted off the premises. During the height of my drinking days in 2006-07 this happened every other week. Fortunately the bouncer at my local the time was one of my best friends at school and would just walk me out.
  • I used to be sick a lot and I mean a fucking lot. Every Saturday morning my dad would pop his head around my door and ask ‘All you alright Son?’ which really meant ‘I hope you aren’t fucking dead you derelict!’. I regret not getting my shit together whilst he was still around. Fuck.
  • I’d be so depressed the next day that the only way I could feel better would be with shit tons of junk food. My personal favourite was a large lamb doner kebab with BBQ sauce.
    How Running Helped Me Overcome My Harmful Weekend Binge Drinking

Why was I drinking so much?

Well the truth is that I wasn’t very happy with who I was at the time. I had no other outlet for my frustrations so I just took to a drug to open up.

How I drink now

My drinking as a runner has changed quite a bit for the better.

I try not to exceed any more than a bottle of wine and a 500ml bottle of Weston’s cider at the weekends.

How Running Helped Me Overcome My Harmful Weekend Binge Drinking

Any more than that and my chances of shitting myself on the run quadruple.

There have been a few occasions at office parties where I’ve drank more than this and I guess it’s OK once in a while, but I’m wary of it turning into a habit.

The important point is that I always need to be in a state where I can run the next day.

Even if I do have a little bit of a hangover I can run it off if I haven’t drank to excess.

I’m still not 100% perfect

There was an awful period between my first and second marathons where my drinking became a problem again and I wouldn’t be able to run because of the pain inside my head.

I think I am susceptible to problems like this. When I took my first drink I remember thinking “wow, everything is so much better now, my mind is still!”. That should have set off serious fucking warning signals in my head.

If any drug immediately provides a solution for you then it will come back and become a bigger problem.

What’s my point with all of this? Running has helped me overcome my binge drinking to a large extent. I no longer create anymore unnecessary emotional pain in my life.

I’m now in a position to work through all of the old shit.

Without becoming a runner this wouldn’t have been possible.

An Update & Thank You Message To All Of My Indiegogo Contributors!

First of all I would like to think the following people for their contributions to Angry Jogger – The Book.

It means a hell of a lot! (if you want removed from this list then comment on the post, thanks).

Yvonne H, Bill Lovell, Tracy Ann, Lyerin, Barry Adams, Born to Plod Jay, Justin, Rob Sorbo, Jed, Jules B, Carmel D, Nicola M,  Lucy M, Les J (Mr Snazzy Cracker!), Jonathan McF, Robert Beech, Jacqui B, Michael McC, Sarah H, Matthew G, Dan G, Cacoastrum, Danielle L, Vikki R, Lucy T, Debbie A, Mike Mock Jogger (who I also still owe a pint to), Jocke, Lindsay L, Glenn M, Marian G, S Wright, Jean Marie, S Farran, Adam Walker and Sarah (if I’ve missed any names out I’ll be mortified but please tell me).

I’d also like to thank everyone who expressed support, offered their best wishes, liked the page, shared it on Facebook/Twitter!

How the book campaign came about

I started this month in a bad place. I was coming into work on the first day back from the Christmas break and had a major panic attack after getting off the train.

For half an hour I thought I was dying. I didn’t know what the fuck was happening but I could sense death and that it was about to do me up the wrong one.

So I got the train back into Belfast whilst on autopilot and sat in Starbucks for two hours in a daze.

An Update & Thank You Message To All Of My Indiegogo Contributors!

That was a definite sign that something was wrong. I fucking hate coffee shops with a passion.

I needed time to think.

I’d only started my new job 2 months previously and I struggled with the daily commute to the point where I dreaded waking up every single day.

I didn’t want the rest of my life to be like this.

For the next 2 days I didn’t sleep at all. I couldn’t really live with myself for not giving my new job a proper chance, but at the same time I was desperately unhappy.

That weekend was a bleak fucking period. I didn’t want to run, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I’d basically just had enough of everything as the last 3 months had been full of nothing but regret.

Then I came up with the idea for the campaign

It was a clear-cut choice between insanity and a shot at happiness.

I set up the Indiegogo campaign that Monday and I’d already written a chapter by the end of the day.

I knew it was the right choice instantly.

Since I’ve started this campaign my life has been so much better.

Here are a few examples of how I’m faring better.

  1. I spend my days doing what I want to do. I write the book. I read. I write blog posts that I think you might find useful or funny.
  2. I’ve lost 10lbs in weight – I’d been overeating a lot to try to disguise the fact that I was pretty miserable over the past couple of months.
  3. I’ve ran 200 miles in a month and I’m feeling very strong again. This excites me.
  4. I’ve been sleeping well for the first time in 2 years – Arguably I’ve been sleeping too much but I think my body has been playing catch-up, so I’m OK with that.
  5. I have hope that I’ll one day be able to make my dreams come true and make a full time living from this blog. I want to move to Southern Europe and live out of a suitcase and find the most beautiful places to run and actually make this website a happy experience for once.

So once again thanks to everyone who has contributed to the campaign!

You can pledge to over on the Indiegogo webpage and receive one of the exciting/appalling perks listed.

If the campaign falls short of the £1,500 total then I’ll still write this book and make it the best I can make it!

How To Inspire Confidence Within Yourself As A Runner.

One of the most difficult things is to gain confidence as a runner. Your first few runs will always be a war of attrition where you’ll want to stop every minute or so.

Once you get over the initial hurdle and find a bit of confidence within your running, then you begin to feel great.

Then you start to run great!

In theory.

I’m posting this tonight as I too have been short of self-belief this week. I cut my long run short on Monday as the weather was appalling.

I got to 5 miles and changed from a 10:30 min/mile pace into a sub 9 minute mile one until I got home.

I had to create a positive to work from. I can’t afford to have any more runs where I don’t achieve at least something, even if it is just a few sub 9 minute miles.

They all add up.

My diet has been dreadful this week too as my birthday was on Tuesday. On Wednesday I was nursing a bit of a headache and had a huge packet of Maoam Pinballs for lunch to try to shift the hangover.

How To Inspire Confidence Within Yourself As A Runner.
Worried that my next shit will be a multicoloured wonder.

I’m back on track as of today

I’ve returned to healthy eating and enjoyed a large punnet of grapes for lunch.

Today I went for a 13.6 mile run around the hills and it was great to get out again. I hadn’t ran since my aborted long run as I was dreading the thought of stepping outside again.

I’m now on 193 miles for January and I’m going out tomorrow again to run a hilly half marathon and make January my best month ever.

Here are some tips on how to inspire confidence within yourself as a runner.

  1. Your first run after a bad run will never be as bad as you think it’s gonna be - Just get outside, lower your expectations and celebrate running again.
    How To Inspire Confidence Within Yourself As A Runner.
  2. Start out slowly and finish with strength if you have anything left in the tank - The best way to ruin your confidence entirely is to start too quickly and then end up having to walk. Worse still, if you injure yourself then you’ll lose the momentum you’ve built on. If you finish quickly then you’re more likely to remember your run as a positive one and feel good after it.
  3. Keep yourself centred - Don’t compare yourself to any other runners. It’s so easy to feel insecure over better runners and to fall into negativity on the run. Don’t take compliments to heart as when someone tries to insult you then you’ll believe them too. Focus on incremental improvements day on day and you won’t go far wrong.
  4. Don’t worry too much about one bad run - They happen to everyone from time to time. You can always learn something from a negative experience. If you become too negative after a bad run you can easily talk yourself into a bad streak and that’s worse!
  5. Capitalise on a good run streak - The best way to avoid a bad streak with your running is to ride out a good streak as long as possible. In the past mine have ended with an epic celebration involving shit loads of alcohol, burgers and pizzas as a reward for finally being able to run properly. Guess how the next run felt?
  6. Confidence comes naturally from running well - That’s the beauty of running, when you start to notice an improvement you wanna keep improving. You then run more and have better and better runs. That’s why it’s important to keep moving forward. If you stop making progress you’ll start to doubt your training and will likely lose confidence in your abilities.
  7. Your future doesn’t have to be like your past  - If you’ve tried running and given up in the past, then you don’t have to do that this time. Your legs can usually run for as long as they want to carry you. It’s your mind that can either be your greatest ally or enemy.

I’ve Turned 30! Reflecting On Achieving My Goal Of Running 5 Marathons Before I Hit The Big 3-0.

After missing the Dublin Marathon 2011 because of a psychotic break in Barcelona El Prat airport in October 2011 I was left feeling small, humiliated and embarrassed.

Ive Turned 30! Reflecting On Achieving My Goal Of Running 5 Marathons Before I Hit The Big 3 0.

To go through 16 weeks of training for nothing was a huge setback especially when I’d only started running in the previous year.

I’d been talking about the Dublin Marathon for months on end to my friends, yet there I was lying in bed at home after my return from Barcelona thinking that I could read the New Dead Sea Scrolls that were being projected from my mind’s eye onto my bedroom ceiling.

It was the closest I’ve ever come to stopping running altogether and lapsing into full blown insanity.

New beginnings

Luckily I got up on the morning of the marathon and decided to try again. I put the missed marathon behind me and aimed to just go outside and record a few miles.

I recorded 4.

It felt like nothing compared to the 26.2 I was meant to have ran that morning but at least it was something and I was moving in the right direction.

It was after this run that I set myself an audacious target to try to keep running interesting.

I would try to run 5 marathons by the time I hit 30.

At the time this was laughable. I barely survived the training for my first marathon.

Now I’d missed what was supposed to be my second marathon.

I couldn’t fathom running even running 1 more marathon at this point, but I tried to take my mind off the task at hand and concentrated on doing something practical.

I focused on running more often and trying to stay on my legs for longer when I was out there.

Over time it worked.

I was still very frightened and not at all optimistic about hitting my target

To achieve my goal of 5 races I had to run 4 more marathons in the space of just 2 years.

My 2nd marathon was in Belfast again in 2012.

It wasn’t a great race and I nearly drowned in the rain. But I got through it.

In 2013 I didn’t look back.

I ran Paris in April 2013 and I messed my race preparation up entirely, crashed somewhere around mile 17 and still finished with a personal best time.

Ive Turned 30! Reflecting On Achieving My Goal Of Running 5 Marathons Before I Hit The Big 3 0.

I did Belfast a month after it and it was a much better experience, knocking another 13 minutes off my best time.

Then came Dublin in October. My fifth marathon.

It was my best race experience to date and I felt like I’d made up for missing the marathon. It was an important race as I’d officially hit my target of 5 marathon races.

Then came Vegas. It was a bit of an abortion. I nearly died on the finishing line.

But I got through it and it was my 6th marathon to date. I was 22 minutes slower than I was in Paris but I pulled through again.

Ive Turned 30! Reflecting On Achieving My Goal Of Running 5 Marathons Before I Hit The Big 3 0.

What I’ve learned from achieving my 5 marathon goal

  1. You don’t have to play a perfect game to achieve what you want to achieve - You just need to keep working towards it and take practical steps to go where you need to go. Keeping positive really helps here.
  2. Too often we let the fear of failure get in the way of us trying something new - It’s better to go out there and fail hilariously than to just sit on your ass and not have fun. That’s why I don’t regret running the Titanic Quarter 50k and finishing last. The Vegas marathon may have been a difficult experience but I learned that I have the resolve to pull through when the going gets tough.
  3. You have the ability and character to hit your goal - There will be times where you’ll doubt yourself. The key is to continue to improve bit by bit over a great period of time. Eventually you’ll have progressed to such a point that you’ll no longer recognise yourself.

25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.

In this post I will outline 25 things that prove your running addiction is just the same as any other chemical addiction out there.

  1. You use running to change your headspace - Feeling down? A run will fix you. On a high? Running will take you higher. Dismayed at being in court today for stealing Mo Farah’s underwear? A run will give you the clarity to explain to the judge what the fuck was going on in your head when the police caught you huffing Bodyglide from his undies.
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  2. You get defensive when people say you run too much - “How can I do too much of something that makes me feel so good?”
  3. It’s causing problems in your relationships - You’ve been kicked out of bed multiple times for falling into a cramp after a long run and moaning the words “negative split again motherfucker!” in your sleep sporadically. You’ve been thrown out of Christmas Dinner for coming back late from a run and sweating onto the turkey and the sprouts.
  4. You need your running fix to feel normal - Initially running brought a lot of joy into your life like any good drug, now you need it just to feel sane. If you don’t run you’ll fall into states of catatonic despair.
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  5. You have a love/hate relationship with running - You love it when you can’t do it and you fucking hate it when you can. You hate the thought of starting on a run but once you’re out there you love it again.
  6. You deny that your running problem is really that bad - After all you know a guy who runs twice as much and has nipples that are so calloused he can grate cheese on them.
  7. Running has caused drastic changes in your appetite - You’re either not hungry at all or you’re fucking starving. You see nothing wrong with demolishing a huge bag of Dorito’s or eating an extra large pizza on your own.
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  8. You experience extended periods of excitability - You dance with excitement when you enter a new race/buy a new pair of shoes/strike up a conversation on Twitter with another runner. You then fall into despair when you realise that race training isn’t always fun and games.
  9. You always go out and say you’ll only run 3 miles but end up running 13 - And you come back covered in sweat, shit and blood and all you can do is grin from ear to fucking ear!
  10. You try to push your drug of choice onto everyone else - “Ever tried running? It’s amazing! You should give it a go. It’ll change your life for the better man”. When people refuse to reciprocate your passion for the sport you become angry at them for refusing free bliss.
  11. Your personal grooming standards drop significantly whilst you’re acquiring your fix - You don’t shower until you’ve finished your run. You’re happy to run in old dirty gear as you’ll only get sweaty anyway. You don’t give a shit if you cover yourself in spit and snot as long as you’re out there putting in the miles.
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  12. All of your money goes on paraphernalia - Just like a pothead spends all of his money on vaporisers, grinders and bongs, you shit away all your spare cash on shoes, gear and races.
  13. You know there will be a day where you’ll have to stop using and that makes you very sad indeed - You can’t envisage a worthwhile life that doesn’t involve running.
  14. You’ve toyed with quitting before - But you just can’t seem to kick the habit. The endorphins bring you back each and every time.
  15. You take comfort in your fellow addicts through a running club, support group or online community - ”We’re not addicts! We’ve got this under control! It’s everyone else that’s fucked up! Not us!’
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  16. You go into withdrawals if you can’t run – You start to feel down. You get jealous of others who can get their fix. Your sleeping becomes fucked up. You feel like an alien in your own brain.
  17. Your habit has caused damage to your body - You have aching nips, chaffing, black toenails and all of the other symptoms of leprosy but what do you do? You run through all of the pain.
  18. You’ve changed big time since you’ve taken up running - Ask anyone who knew you before you became a runner and they’ll testify that your personality has changed completely.
  19. You run in dangerous conditions and circumstances - You’ll run through any ghetto. You’ll run in any weather. Who cares about the hookers or the pimps as long as you run, right?
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  20. You lose control of your bodily functions regularly - Your clothes are covered in blood. You become borderline incontinent on the longer runs. Your nose leaks like a hydrant. You see it all as a small price to pay for attaining your high.
  21. You refuse conventional therapy as your drug is your therapy - That “Running Is Cheaper Than Therapy” slogan isn’t a joke. Most runners use their habit to treat everything from mild depression to full-blown psychosis. If the voices in your head are imploring you to drop your balls in the microwave oven for Salvation, then a run will fix you right up Mister!
    25 Things That Prove Your Running Dependence Is An Addiction Like Any Other Drug Habit.
  22. You’ve built up a tolerance to running - You can run for 5 miles now easily but it isn’t enough for you anymore. You have to go further. 5 miles is just a warmup now. It’s not even a real run. Your brain won’t start pissing out those feel-good chemicals until you’re past 10 now and it’s only gonna get worse.
  23. You’ve lost control over your running - You’ve entered 15 races recently and don’t know how the fuck you’re gonna fit them all into your training schedule. You’ll manage. You’re in control after all.
  24. You find yourself thinking about your drug of choice all of the time - It invades all of your daily thoughts. “I think I should go shopping for a nice wand for Frank in the smut shop……hey! I know! I could run to the dong store! I could buy 2 extra large wands and carry them with me in each hand to strengthen my Core!”
  25. You can’t understand ‘non-users’ - “How the fuck can anyone else get by without running? Are they mental?” No! You’re the one with problem!

11 Practical Reasons To Keep On Running When You Wanna Stop.

In this post I’ve highlighted 11 practical reasons to keep on running once you’ve started outside on a workout.

This is kinda ironic considering I didn’t run at all today. Wow. I really should take my own advice shouldn’t I?

  1. Once you give up once it’s easy to make it into a habit - My biggest regret from the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon was stopping to walk at mile 13. Once I’d set that precedent I stopped every mile or so and every time I did it my morale dropped a little more. Sometimes It’s easier to just run through the discomfort.
  2. There are other options than stopping completely - You can slow down to a plod or even walk for a while. One of the best reasons to do speed work is that it gives your body more gears to grind through. If you’re running in fourth gear you can easily drop down to 2nd and ease yourself home if you start to struggle. If your two speeds are stop and plod then it’s harder to keep moving when you run out of steam.
    11 Practical Reasons To Keep On Running When You Wanna Stop.
  3. You’ll feel better later if you keep on running - You’ll still be on track with your training and you’ll have earned your rest period.
  4. The more you battle through your urge to stop the stronger your resolve becomes - When I first started running I wanted to stop on almost every single run. Nowadays I want to stop once a month and that’s usually when I have an awful hangover!
  5. Your run won’t be over any quicker if you give in - Whilst you could argue that your run is over immediately if you stop on your tracks, you’ll have to come back to it again at a later date. Giving in might sound like the easy answer but you’re just creating more work for yourself later.
  6. A lot of the time your body can continue and it’s only your mind that wants to stop - If you become overwhelmed with negativity then stopping can seem like your only recourse. Be sure to ask yourself if you really need to stop or whether or not this is simply a build up of mental noise. Most of the time my body will chugging along quite nicely and it will only be mind that’s thinking “shit I fucking hate this and want to stop now!”. Your mind can be a dick at times. Let it be a dick and keep on moving.
    11 Practical Reasons To Keep On Running When You Wanna Stop.
  7. Wanting to stop is a phase that will pass - If you battle through it for long enough you’ll catch your 2nd, 3rd or 4th wind.
  8. Stopping isn’t as alluring as it seems at the time - Every time I’ve stopped running in a marathon I’ve thought “aw fuck why did I do that?”. Yet when you’re running and very tired it seems like the best possible thing you could do. It never is.
  9. If you give up what will you do with your free time? - There have been occasions where I’ve stopped in the first few miles of a long run and turned back home only to sit around all day eating pizza and feeling sorry for myself. On those occasions I’ve never had peace of mind. I’ve spent hours thinking about the run that’s went wrong and always regret giving in so easily. It doesn’t have to be that way! You have the power to continue!
  10. Everyone wants to stop from time to time - You aren’t alone. When I first stopped on my opening training run for the Belfast Marathon I didn’t think I had it would it took to be a ‘proper’ runner. Real runners never had the urge to stop and even if they did they battled through it. Tenacity is a quality that you build with practice. Keep trying and you’ll become both mentally and physically stronger!
  11. Deciding to continue on for another 0.05 mile can lead to you running for another 5 - Repeating a mantra like “if I can just keep on running for a few more seconds then this will be great” tends to boost my spirit, leaving me with the positivity to continue on for longer. It’s better to have that mindset than to think “shit I’ve another hour of this left.”. Then you become overwhelmed and want to stop.

How do you motivate yourself to continue on with a run when the going gets tough?

Running For Weight Loss – 0.7lb Loss In Week 3 Of Ultramarathon Training.

I’m sorry that I’m late with this post tonight, I was eating some of my long run Haribo in bed and I lapsed into a sugary coma and slept for around 3 hours.

And I thought I was getting my shit together….

Anyway I weighed in today at 209lbs. That’s down 8 pounds since the start of the month.

That’s only a 0.7lb loss from last week but I’m pretty certain I’ve gained muscle from all of the hill running.

My clothes are fitting better which is always the best indicator!

Here is this week’s shot of me looking dour and uncomfortable.

Running For Weight Loss   0.7lb Loss In Week 3 Of Ultramarathon Training.

The good.

  1. I’ve never felt this strong before as a runner - For a while I was wondering if all of the hill training was paying off. Now for the first time I can see that I’m much stronger towards the end of runs. I managed a 7:14 mile in the final mile of my 10 miler on Friday. The crazy thing is that I was actually increasing in speed towards the end. According to my Garmin Connect stats my best pace was 5:55 min/mile for about 50 foot. Wow.
  2. My mileage is gradually increasing and my body is reacting fine - I’m abiding by the 10% rule weekly increase rule and remaining patient. In week 1 I ran 54 miles, in week 2 I ran 59. This week I’m wanting to reach 60 but I don’t care if I go much higher than that. I’m gonna aim for speed over distance on the longer run tomorrow. I’m still aiming for a sub 4 hour marathon in the spring and to do that my easy running pace must increase to the bare minimum of a 9 minute mile.
  3. I have been content this week - I no longer sit around for hours on end in a depressed state. If I’m down I’ll fire on a show that will make me laugh. Thanks to @thepauldoherty for telling me about Jackson Galaxy and ‘My Cat From Hell’. Fucking hilarious and I’m pretty certain he eats the unfixable cats.
    Running For Weight Loss   0.7lb Loss In Week 3 Of Ultramarathon Training.
  4. I really wanted to give up on my long run on Wednesday, but I didn’t - I was struggling so much on the hills that I was close to backing down and running in the opposite direction. I remaining focused on hitting the top and slowed my pace down to a 11:30 minute/mile and coped. I concentrated on how I’d feel if I did give up. I hate that deflated sinking feeling. I’d rather run through the discomfort and achieve peace of mind.
  5. I’m sleeping better - I’m starting to worry that I’m sleeping too much though. I spent the start of the month in a huge panic as I wanted to make good progress with the book but it came at the cost of sleeping at all. Now I’m starting to find a balance.
  6. I’ve agreed to buy myself some new shoes - I know I’ve been sceptical about the ‘rule’ that says you have to change your shoes every 300-500 miles, but I’ve got to the point where I need a new pair. My New Balance’s have seen better days. Every time I run, a stone finds it’s way into my left shoe and I have to either stop to let it out or run on stubbornly like I did today and shake it out once I’m home. I’ve already put between 800-1000 miles into these shoes so it is time for a new pair.

There is no “the bad” this week!

10 Non-Running Excuses I’ve Used Before That Are Acceptable.

At the start of January I considered running every day for as long as possible. It started well but as I covered greater distances it quickly became impractical to continue on with the streak.

Now I’ve completely given up on the idea.

Why?

Well sometimes I think it’s absolutely necessary to have a rest day! Here are the valid excuses I’ve in the past to not run.

  1. I can’t run as I’m chaffed beyond hell - This was yesterday’s excuse. The inside of my legs resembled the base of a charred pizza. I could barely waddle let alone walk. Showering couldn’t even happen until this morning. If I’m not physically able to shower, then I’m not running just to keep up a silly streak.
    10 Non Running Excuses Ive Used Before That Are Acceptable.
    I didn’t want to post this image, but this is really how bad my leg chaffing has become. 
  2. I’m not running as it’s icy outside - What’s the point in risking an ankle sprain or worse for the sake of a few miles? If I’m injured I can’t run at all.
  3. I can’t run as I’m still drunk from last night - Whilst I try to run through hangovers where possible as a form of punishment for being so stupid, I refuse to run drunk. I’ve tried that before and it’s never as fun as it sounds at the time. It always ends in pain and vomit. When I’m drunk I always want to go on a Tolkienesque adventure to the local forest where I think I’ll be taught the wonders of life by a magical Reindeer. In reality I’m more likely to be fucked and split open by a marauding sett of Badgers.
    10 Non Running Excuses Ive Used Before That Are Acceptable.
  4. I’m not running as there are currently riots happening outside - Yes. I’m from Northern Ireland. Yes. Riots occasionally happen. It’s best not to risk having a molotov cocktail for dessert just for the sake of a 4 mile run. And yes, running away from riots is a good form of speedwork if and only if you’re already quick enough to outrun a baying mob.
    10 Non Running Excuses Ive Used Before That Are Acceptable.
    Mo would be OK. I wouldn’t. 
  5. I’m not running as I have a head cold that’s turned into a chest infection - The last few times I’ve ran through a chest infection it has lingered on for weeks. My last chest infection lasted from mid-December 2013 until only a few days ago because I wasn’t smart enough to just rest for a while at the start of January.
  6. I can’t run as I’ve just landed here on holiday after 15 hours of traveling - I tried convincing myself that running in Vegas would be a good idea to overcome jet-lag when I first landed there in November. I’m fucking glad I didn’t go through with that plan. Sleeping for 10 hours in my bed was heaven.
  7. I’m not running as the only way I can run today is on a goddamn treadmill - I just can’t run on these fucking things anymore. First of all I don’t have a gym membership. Secondly, I’m not paying £5 to run on belt for 20 minutes before thinking ‘fuck it all, never mind the stench rising from my sack, I’m hailing a taxi home!’.
  8. I can’t run as I ran 18 miles yesterday and my body is broken - I’d rather listen to my body and rest than risk a ‘recovery’ run the next day. Sometimes the best way to recover is to just…recover.
  9. I’m not running as there’s a serious thunderstorm on outside - And I need a thunderbolt to my tits like I need a pair of balls on my chin.
    10 Non Running Excuses Ive Used Before That Are Acceptable.
  10. I can’t run as I have a pain in my knee/leg before I’ve even started running - This isn’t so much an excuse but just sanity. If you have pain before a run then the chances are that running isn’t gonna fix it. It will only make it worse.

What are your legitimate excuses for missing a run?

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

In this post I will go through the complete process of training for my first marathon.

Original Goal

Complete the Belfast Marathon 2011 in under 4 hours 30 minutes.

Secondary Goal

Complete the Belfast Marathon 2011 without dying.

Marathon Date

2nd May 2011

The terror of training for my first marathon.

When I was starting out training on my own I hadn’t a clue whether or not running a marathon was possible. I struggled to relate to even the best written marathon running guides out there.

I went on Amazon and bought the ‘Non Runners’ Marathon Trainer’ in September 2010 and made it my aim to be able to comfortably run 5km by the start of training on January 1st 2011.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Pre training for the marathon

In order to complete the above training plan successfully you have to be able to run 3.1 miles comfortably. This gave me from September until the end of December to build up my endurance to that level.

My first step in training for the marathon involved buying a pedometer and trying to walk on average 10,000 steps each day to build up my fitness.

By the 2nd week of September 2010 I hadn’t ran at all except maybe to pursue ice cream vans.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

I ran by accident for the first time in the gym.

I’d spent a month walking on the treadmill in jeans for an hour at a time to supplement my lunch time walks.

Throughout July and August my training didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. I felt awful for not taking it seriously.

I remember boring my colleagues with talk of how I was never gonna be able to complete the marathon and I regretted starting it.

I was close to giving up on the marathon until one a fateful night.

In a sheer fit of boredom during one of my pedestrian hour long walks, I decided to crank up the pace to 8.3 km/h from 6 km/h on the treadmill to see what it was like to break into a slow jog.

I jogged 1km for the first time ever!

I couldn’t believe it. It took just under 10 minutes to cover that distance but I was ecstatic.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Running at a slower pace was a revelation to me at the time. I thought that running involved sprinting until you were fully out of breath and broken.

Within a week I’d ran my first 5k at this easier pace.

I stopped over thinking the act of running and just let my legs move. I couldn’t believe it was this easy. I was starting to make progress.

The best thing was that my walking in the treadmill hadn’t been in vain. It had helped my fitness, making jogging that much easier. Without the walking I wouldn’t have had the base to improve as quickly as I did.

Between September and November I upped my training to try to cover 5k as often as I could to try to stick to the Non Runner’s training plan.

I went from hating the gym to loving it within the span of a month. Every time I went I could see improvements. It was such an exciting time.

I eventually broke 10k on the treadmill on 2nd December 2010.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

On that day I believed for the first time that I might be able to complete a marathon.

I still hadn’t ran outside though.

I was too frightened and self conscious to go in the outdoors. I was concerned that I’d go out, find myself out of my depth and cancel the marathon altogether.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

I remember putting the treadmill gradient up to 3% to mimic the outdoors as it seemed like cheating to be running on flat.

My first proper outdoor run.

Again my first run outdoors was largely accidental. We were let out of work just after lunch because it was so cold that the heating system shut down.

I had recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS watch and wanted to test it, so I decided to walk home.

It wasn’t a straightforward journey. There was a blizzard on outside and I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. I was wearing a band t-shirt, jeans, DC Shoes and a leather jacket.

My only option was to start to jog to try to keep warm or freeze to death.

So I started jogging. Very angrily. And badly. The pavements were treacherous and I focused on keeping upright and moving forward.

The run was actually quite fun apart from the fact the sky was trying to fuck my face with snow crystals.

I ended up running 4.3 miles. It was amazing.

Unfortunately that was as good as December 2010 got for me. I spent too much time drinking and eating crap and wearing stupid hats.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Now, onto the training.

Week 1 – New Year’s disaster run

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 27th December 2010
Tuesday 28th December 2010
Wednesday 29th December 2010
Thursday 30th December 2010
Friday 31st December 2010
Saturday 1st January 2011 2.4 miles 28:34 11:55 minute/mile
Sunday 2nd January 2011 3.4 miles 34:58 10:16 minute/mile

I missed most of the week’s training due to insomnia. My dad was experiencing serious nausea from his pain medication and at nighttime I’d hear him rushing into the toilet to be sick.

I didn’t know what to do to help. I just sat in my bedroom numb. That’s when I started taking Nytol.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

My first ever scheduled training run on New Year’s Day was a disaster.

I didn’t know what I was meant to be wearing as a runner, so I put on this oversized tracksuit that I got for Christmas. The bottoms of the tracksuit kept falling down so I had to hold them up all of the way around.

Talk about embarrassing!

I wouldn’t stop swearing and berating myself for being a fat useless bastard.

I only managed 2 miles before breaking down entirely. This was hugely demoralising as by this stage in training I was meant to be able to cover 3.1 miles comfortably.

Unfazed I went out the next day and ran the same route albeit slower. I managed 3.4 miles.

Week 2 – First full week, deterioration of dad’s health

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 3rd January 2011 3.78 miles 37:59 10:03 minute/mile
Tuesday 4th January 2011 3.56 miles 37:31 10:32 minute/mile
Wednesday 5th January 2011 4.32 miles 43:53 10:10 minute/mile
Thursday 6th January 2011
Friday 7th January 2011 4.04 miles 40:54 10:07 minute/mile
Saturday 8th January 2011
Sunday 9th January 2011

Dad gets moved into hospital. Doctor tells us that he’s got a week to live at most.

Numb.

Eat chips on the way up to the hospital to see him.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Missed out on the long run as we were up at the hospital for most of the week.

The running at least provided an escape at the time. I kinda wished that everything was normal so that I could run more often. The thing is I’d had all my adult life to run and I only chose to start all of this when there was a crisis in the family.

Week 3 – Break 6 miles on an outside run for the first time

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 10th January 2011
Tuesday 11th January 2011 6.11 miles 1:03:48 10:26 minute/mile
Wednesday 12th January 2011 4.14 miles 42:16 10:13 minute/mile
Thursday 13th January 2011 3.84 miles 38:52 10:08 minute/mile
Friday 14th January 2011 4.57 miles 46:08 10:06 minute/mile
Saturday 15th January 2011
Sunday 16th January 2011 5.6 miles 56:35 10:10 minute/mile

Run 6 miles at lunch time in work.

Come back in and have a dreadful migraine.

It was the first time I ever experienced an aura with the headache. I thought I was having a stroke.

I still hadn’t bought proper running gear by this stage. Ran the 10k in jeans, a cotton shirt and my Nike Lunarglide’s.

Totally clueless.

Week 4 – Break 7 miles but my drinking and eating is out of hand.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 17th January 2011 3.96 miles 39:29 9:58 minute/mile
Tuesday 18th January 2011
Wednesday 19th January 2011 4.80 miles 47:38 9:56 minute/mile
Thursday 20th January 2011
Friday 21st January 2011
Saturday 22nd January 2011 4.31 miles 42:19 9:49 minute/mile
Sunday 23rd January 2011 7.14 miles 1:12:28 10:09 minute/mile

I’m still aiming for a sub 4:30 marathon and am aiming to bring my average pace per mile down below 10:00/mile.

Wasn’t coping well with the stress at home so I was drinking a 700ml bottle of Smirnoff Apple on the night before my long run to take my mind off it.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Great idea, Matt.

I’d fallen into the mindset that I could eat everything I want as I was running. It took me quite a while to understand that this really isn’t the case.

My health was beginning to suffer because of my unhealthy lifestyle.

Around this time I refused to walk up the stairs in work as I was ‘wasting energy’.

Athletes always take the elevator. Or so I thought.

Week 5 – Run 6 times in one week.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 24th January 2011 3.86 miles 36:22 9:25 minute/mile
Tuesday 25th January 2011
Wednesday 26th January 2011 4.96 miles 47:32 9:35 minute/mile
Thursday 27th January 2011 3.88 miles 36:19 9:22 minute/mile
Friday 28th January 2011 4.86 miles 47:40 9:49 minute/mile
Saturday 29th January 2011 4.17 miles 40:19 9:41 minute/mile
Sunday 30th January 2011 8.12 miles 1:19:11 9:45 minute/mile

My confidence had increased drastically and I’m starting to speed up. I felt excited for my future as a runner at the time and I’m in control.

Everything else seems to crumbling around me. Running is my one remaining link to sanity.

Book a trip to Magaluf this week with my friend. That would not end well.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Week 6 – Running 8 miles on the long run.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 31st January 2011
Tuesday 1st February 2011 3.86 miles 37:24 9:41 minute/mile
Wednesday 2nd February 2011
Thursday 3rd February 2011
Friday 4th February 2011 4.97 miles 48:12 9:42 minute/mile
Saturday 5th February 2011 4.97 miles 47:13 9:30 minute/mile
Sunday 6th February 2011 8.07 miles 1:19:48 9:54 minute/mile

OK it seems like I overdid it in Week 5.

Running 6 times in 7 days when you’ve only been running properly for a month is idiotic.

My performance suffers as a result. I struggle to complete the repeat of the 8 mile run I attempted last week.

Very demoralising. It’s shitty how your confidence can break so easily in such a short period of time.

Highlight of the week is the run on the Friday where I run into an old man in the dark. This is from my run report.

Ran into the back of some guy on the Larne Road. Fucks sake! Wet & windy and that was only my arsehole.

Fitting.

Week 7 – My first ever 10+ mile marathon training run + fuelling

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 7th February 2011
Tuesday 8th February 2011
Wednesday 9th February 2011 4.93 miles 47:12 9:35 minute/mile
Thursday 10th February 2011 5.58 miles 54:41 9:48 minute/mile
Friday 11th February 2011
Saturday 12th February 2011 10.38 miles 1:45:47 10:12 minute/mile
Sunday 13th February 2011

I never thought I’d have been able to run 10 miles.

But you know what? I managed it. I cleared my mind of the monumental task at hand and concentrated on drinking lots of Lucozade Sport and eating Glucose tablets on the run.

When I got home from the run I was euphoric.

I celebrated with more vodka and a huge Tesco Chocolate Sundae.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Styling.

Week 8 – Best week of running so far.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 14th February 2011 4.71 miles 44:04 9:21 minute/mile
Tuesday 15th February 2011
Wednesday 16th February 2011 5.63 miles 55:08 9:47 minute/mile
Thursday 17th February 2011 4.35 miles 42:14 9:42 minute/mile
Friday 18th February 2011
Saturday 19th February 2011 12.12 miles 2:02:53 10:08 minute/mile
Sunday 20th February 2011

Confidence is at an all time high after this week. The 12.12 mile long run felt effortless.

Absolutely nothing went wrong and my dad seemed to be improving.

Week 9 – Despair and breaking down on a 12 miler.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 21st February 2011
Tuesday 22nd February 2011 5.59 miles 54:03 9:41 minute/mile
Wednesday 23rd February 2011
Thursday 24th February 2011 6.52 miles 1:04:38 9:55 minute/mile
Friday 25th February 2011
Saturday 26th February 2011 4.23 miles 40:12 9:31 minute/mile
Sunday 27th February 2011 11.02 miles 1:53:04 10:16 minute/mile

Have an awful run where I break down on the 11th mile of a 12 mile run and stop at a bus shelter where I sit for an hour and think about nothing.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Forgive myself as I was suffering from a very bad chest infection.

Start freaking out a little as I’m now officially behind with my training.

Week 10 – Tragedy

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 28th February 2011 4.91 miles 46:53 9:33 minute/mile
Tuesday 1st March 2011
Wednesday 2nd March 2011 8.09 miles 1:18:55 9:45 minute/mile
Thursday 3rd March 2011
Friday 4th March 2011 5.63 miles 54:07 9:37 minute/mile
Saturday 5th March 2011
Sunday 6th March 2011 14.10 miles 2:24:24 10:14 minute/mile

Very sad week.

My dad passed on the Saturday 5th March 2011. I wasn’t expecting it to happen then. But then again I was in denial.

I drank a shit-ton of Brandy coming back from the Hospice after he went. Didn’t know how to react. Stunned I guess.

Went out the next day with a god awful hangover and ran 14 miles. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do but the alternative was to sit around and sulk.

And that’s the last thing I wanted to be doing at that time.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

At the end of the 14 mile run I am hit around the legs with some tree branches by local chavs who think it’s fucking hilarious.

I didn’t care. Numb.

Week 11 – Miss my first 16 miler because I go out on Saturday and get blitzed.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 7th March 2011 5.61 miles 54:03 9:38 minute/mile
Tuesday 8th March 2011
Wednesday 9th March 2011 8.09 miles 1:18:34 9:42 minute/mile
Thursday 10th March 2011
Friday 11th March 2011 8.11 miles 1:21:07 10:00 minute/mile
Saturday 12th March 2011 4.14 miles 39:34 9:33 minute/mile
Sunday 13th March 2011

Lost the plot big style.

Eating nothing but ice cream and drinking too much Vodka.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Started taking Temazepam and Zopiclone to try to sleep at night.

I manage to run a few times but I honestly can’t remember anything about them. Got into the habit of running in the morning still wired. Didn’t know who I was, where I was or why.

Don’t care about running anymore. Stay indoors all day listening to Mogwai and watching ‘Wonders of the Universe’ presented by Professor Brian Cox. Takes the edge off the grief.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Week 12  - Run my first ever half marathon, in Larne

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 14th March 2011 8.11 miles 1:22:19 10:09 minute/mile
Tuesday 15th March 2011 10.31 miles 1:44:44 10:10 minute/mile
Wednesday 16th March 2011
Thursday 17th March 2011 8.09 miles 1:21:33 10:10 minute/mile
Friday 18th March 2011
Saturday 19th March 2011 13.19 miles 2:18:33 10:30 minute/mile
Sunday 20th March 2011

On the Thursday I couldn’t sleep and went out at 5:30am for an 8 mile run. When I got back home I just stood in the living room for 2 hours staring at the ground.

Unbelievably numb.

Completed my first ever half marathon in 2:17 on the Saturday. Totally exhausted and broken after it. Experience my first ever case of nipple chaffing after the run.

Tried walking to the train station from the finishing area. Got maybe 10m and realised there was no way I could make it. Fortunately Neil from school kindly offers me a lift back home. If he didn’t I think I’d still be in that fucking Leisure Centre.My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

I wonder how the fuck I’m gonna run twice that in under 2 months time.

Entering this goddamn race was a really bad idea!

Week 13 –  Fall short of a 16 mile run.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 21st March 2011
Tuesday 22nd March 2011 8.07 miles 1:19:27 9:50 minute/mile
Wednesday 23rd March 2011 8.11 miles 1:21:09 10:01 minute/mile
Thursday 24th March 2011
Friday 25th March 2011 8.12 miles 1:19:46 9:50 minute/mile
Saturday 26th March 2011 2.41 miles 24:24 10:07 minute/mile
Sunday 27th March 2011 15.49 miles 2:38:07 10:13 minute/mile

I just can’t get used to the long runs. If I can’t run 16 miles how the fuck am I gonna run 26?

By the end of every single one I’m always gasping for breath and I’m in pain.

Starting to realise that it’s maybe a better idea that I try to finish the marathon instead of aiming for a specific time.

Week 14 –  A tiring 16 miler.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 28th March 2011
Tuesday 29th March 2011 10.41 miles 1:42:32 9:51 minute/mile
Wednesday 30th March 2011 8.13 miles 1:19:59 9:50 minute/mile
Thursday 31st March 2011
Friday 1st April 2011 8.11 miles 1:16:15 9:24 minute/mile
Saturday 2nd April 2011
Sunday 3rd April 2011 16.0 miles 2:44:30 10:17 minute/mile

I ran from my town into Belfast and it was very stressful. Live up to the angry jogger name by giving the fingers to cars that would not yield.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

I was taking everything far too personally at this point. Paranoid that motorists were conspiring against me to fuck up my training.

Finally I run 16 miles, but it wasn’t fun. Again I’m left with an awful migraine and I felt like shit.

Have a Kopparberg at the train station bar and am slightly better.

By this stage in training I’m meant to have ran 3×16 milers and I’ve only managed one. Agree that I’m pretty much fucked unless I change my training.

Week 15 –  Finally manage to run an 18 miler!

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 4th April 2011
Tuesday 5th April 2011
Wednesday 6th April 2011 8.09 miles 1:18:57 9:46 minute/mile
Thursday 7th April 2011 11.36 miles 2:01:16 10:41 minute/mile
Friday 8th April 2011 8.12 miles 1:26:08 10:36 minute/mile
Saturday 9th April 2011
Sunday 10th April 2011 18.1 miles 3:15:57 10:50 minute/mile

Take drastic action and lower my running pace to a 11:00 min/mile from 10:18 min/mile average.

Try running into Belfast again for an 18 mile run at this easier pace and make it with a 10:50 min/mile average.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Week 16 – Another 18 miler.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 11th April 2011
Tuesday 12th April 2011 11.21 miles 1:56:39 10:24 minute/mile
Wednesday 13th April 2011
Thursday 14th April 2011
Friday 15th April 2011 10.37 miles 1:45:10 10:08 minute/mile
Saturday 16th April 2011
Sunday 17th April 2011 18.16 miles 3:10:58 10:31 minute/mile

Try another 18 mile long run only this time at a quicker pace.

Make it but I’m chaffed severely between the legs.

Week 17 – Taper & a 10.8 mile run

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 18th April 2011
Tuesday 19th April 2011 5.5 miles 50:59 9:16 minute/mile
Wednesday 20th April 2011
Thursday 21st April 2011 8.12 miles 1:29:20 11:00 minute/mile
Friday 22nd April 2011
Saturday 23rd April 2011
Sunday 24th April 2011 10.75 miles 1:58:19  11:00 minute/mile

Run 10.75 miles but wanted to do more. The taper drives me to the brink of insanity.

As you can see from the average pace above I was trying to aim for as close to the 11:00 minute/mile average as possible.

These runs were boring in all fairness as I couldn’t deviate from the pace I set for myself.

My Complete Training Schedule & Backstory For My First Ever Marathon.

Week 18 – No long run and a marathon.

Day Distance Time Average Pace
Monday 25th April 2011 4.02 miles 39:05 9:44 minute/mile
Tuesday 26th April 2011 4.84 miles 47:40 9:51 minute/mile
Wednesday 27th April 2011
Thursday 28th April 2011
Friday 29th April 2011 4.01 miles 37:23 9:19 minute/mile
Saturday 30th April 2011
Sunday 1st May 2011
Monday 2nd May 2011 26.32 miles  5:03:17  11:31 minute/mile

Marathon turns out to be better than expected. Takes place on a lovely day.

I finish the Belfast Marathon 2011 in 5:00:56

Go out with friends for dinner afterward in Tony Roma’s Belfast, proudly wearing my medal.

The waiter comes over, sees my medal and asks what my time was. Looks disappointed when I tell him. Says “OK……I could have done it in less than 3 hours, do you want another pint?”

YES. OF YOUR FUCKING BLOOD!

Don’t piss for 6 hours after the marathon. Don’t understand where all the Budweiser is living in the interim.

Is it rooming up in my balls?

Eventually I piss and it’s quite the piss. An amazing piss. Definitely my piss of 2011.

Conclusion.

I went from being unable to run at all in September 2010 to running a 5:00:56 marathon in May 2011.

My diet and lifestyle were fucked up, I was suffering from a number of mental health issues at the time but I pulled through it.

I never imagined that it would be possible but it happened.

If I can do it, so can you.

So go out and do it now!

Oh and go and support my Indiegogo campaign for ‘Angry Jogger – The Book’ if you want to read what happens next!

How To Inspire Yourself Before, During And After Your Run.