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.
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.
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.
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.
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.