My Story On Why I Started To Run For The Very First Time As An Overweight Beginner.

The idea of running the Belfast Marathon 2011 came on my 4th consecutive night on the Prague Bar Crawl.

Feeling a little strung out after many consecutive nights of partying in London – Paris – Amsterdam – Berlin and then Prague, I decided that a change was in order.

So on the balmy evening of the 18th July 2010 I made a pledge to run the Belfast Marathon in support of Macmillan Cancer as my dad had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Before all of this I’d managed to get up to an impressive 20 stone, through being extraordinarily lazy and hungry.

The only ever exercise I did was in the Limelight Club, Belfast – pogoing badly to The Smiths.

In a previous, fatter incarnation I was a goth (pictured right).Β 

Anyway, From October 2010 onwards I started going to the local gym just to walk on the treadmill for an hour and to try a little bit of running here and there.

By November I could run a kilometer. I was delighted at my progress but was brought back down to earth when I did the maths regarding the task ahead.

A marathon is 42 kilometers.

I had never ran outside at all until one fateful December afternoon in 2010.

We were let out of work early as the heating system in the University had broken down. The trains were running late. I decided that I was going to run home.

Back then I was even more clueless about running attire than I am now. I jogged home in jeans, a ‘The Clash’ t-shirt, a pair of DC shoes and a leather jacket.


And I made it too. All 4.2 miles of the way. It took 48 minutes. I was slipping all over the place. It was -7C and I distinctly remember almost choking on a snowflake.

I ran into Sainsbury’s sweating like hell and buying a tube of Smarties thinking that I had made it big time.

Over the next few months I ran and ran until I could run no more.

Long runs came and went. As did the frustration and pain of running.

Ever since then I haven’t stopped running and I don’t honestly think I ever will.

I finished my first marathon in 5:00:56. I was hoping for a sub 5 hour time. I missed out by 57 seconds. I was annoyed but delighted at the same time for having gone the distance.

Running has changed my life for the better in many, many ways. I am fitter and healthier than I have ever been.

I use jogging as a way to travel to new cities and to meet new people by entering long distance events.

If you’re interested in running but can’t run the length of yourself like me 2 years ago, then start tomorrow. Β If I can do it, then you can too!

Any distance travelled counts and puts a gap between yourself and your past.

Just keep fucking going.

13 Responses

  1. Hels says:

    Great write up. Similar to me, I couldn’t run at all two years ago. I decided to run a marathon and within 6 months, completed it. Respect to us!

    And I remember Limelight, is it still there? I liked it! Then again, I have a slightly gothic side sometimes.

  2. Matt says:

    Class it’s good to hear your story is similar to mine. I was freaking out so much about running the marathon at the time. Was even thinking of excuses to get out of it!

    Yep it is. It’s still got a very sticky floor. Tried getting in last year after our Christmas do but I had no joy. I was swaying too much!

  3. Alani says:

    This is incredible! I commend you and thank you for your site – it’s so inspiring! I’m just about to embark on this running journey and googled something on running and found your site.
    Thank goodness!
    I’m keeping it in my favourites!
    PS: I had to laugh… everything was serious and then I burst out laughing at: “I distinctly remember almost choking on a snowflake”…

  4. clare page says:

    Great writings – full of fun AND inspiration – glad I stumbled across you on FB – I can use you to help me reach my goals and maybe more………………….

    THANK YOU πŸ™‚

  5. Love this! So glad I found your site…just starting running last week and needed the inspiration! After a couple years of telling myself that I needed to lose some weight in order to be able to run safely, but then, uh, not losing any weight, I just said “Fuck it” and started running. I did start hiking fairly ferociously in the past year and I think that has prepared me a little more too. I have some great friends who run and have been encouraging me, but they are all skinny little adorable things and have no idea some of the struggles of trying to run when you are planted firmly in the obese category, so I appreciate your insights and sharing your struggle and hearing of your success!!!

  6. Tina Maxson says:

    HI Matt – I am exploring the possibility of running to feel better and to loose some weight. I am overweight at 50 and have a hard time playing with my grandkids. What I would like to know is: When it is 5c outside, snowing, muddy, etc. Do you run outside or indoors? Do you do some sort of exercise regimin when you can’t go outdoors to run? Thanks!

  7. Chuck says:

    How long does it take to go from the ten choc chip cookies, 240 lbs to the Berlin Marathon in September 2014? How much time do i need to run it?

  8. Rimiks says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your attitude is amniazg, I hope I will always be able to look on the bright side like you do. I wanted to stop by and wish you a Merry Christmas.

  9. Just found your site when searching Google for sub 2 hour half marathons. Great read. Your story is similar to mine with the weight loss. I’d hit a 38″ waist in suit trousers (36″ in jeans). No way I thought – not a chance.

    I didn’t buy the trousers but did start running. 2 marathons later and still going.

  10. Mohamad says:

    i was looking for a motivation for myself to start running through websites,and then i found ur blog.thanks so much for your advices! keep up ur great attitude.

  11. Gail says:

    You’re an inspiration and I admire your cussing!

  12. Jim says:

    Tons of inspiration and realism in these pages. (And The first running blog that makes me laugh out loud at times) if you’re ever in Rome for a race (or not) drop me a line and we can grab a pizza and exchange stories.

  1. May 8, 2013

    […] pedometers (the fitbit, because it’s so FREAKING awesome!) and I happened upon this site; Angryjogger. A website by an Irish gentleman who decided one day that he was going to run home due to […]

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