Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ok, So This Is Actually Happening

I had a minor freak-out just over a week ago. This arrived

I remember clearly sitting down and entering the Brighton Half Marathon one gloomy, rainy night in September. At the time, I thought it was 50/50 whether it would actually happen and I didn’t tell a soul about what I’d done for a month. Now with  three weeks to go, I’ve realised this really is actually happening, and I’m kinda excited –  very, very excited! Following on from my last post, things have been better. I ran 10 miles last Saturday which went well and breaking into double figures was a real psychological boost.

Yesterday, my new thing for the day was to take part in my first ever organised race – a free Park Run. I was really nervous beforehand, having visions of the park full of Keenos running the 5km in 6.87 minutes with me shuffling behind half an hour later.  Although I didn’t exactly win, and initially had flashbacks of horrendous school cross country, it was actually really lovely and people were super friendly. Before we started, Park Run Virgins (there were about a dozen of us) were asked to identify ourselves and we got a big clap and cheer from the rest of the 280 strong group which genuinely put a smile on my face. I ended up running 5K faster than I ever had before, didn’t come last and even passed a few people. It also helps when you’re running round places like this.

Don’t get me wrong, although the people there were mostly Normals, there were a few Keenos as well. I overheard things like ‘well, so, maybe Tim could run that 5k faster, but I totally feel like I could run that all again at the same pace – maybe even quicker. Bet Tim couldn’t do that’ That statement would be annoying even coming from a 13 year old, but this guy was at least 30. Seriously dude, get a (non-competitive) hobby. So, a lovely first race followed by a further 5mile jog back home. Will definitely be doing it again.

(WARNING, SOME SMUGNESS COMING) Without getting too dramatic, pressing ‘send’ on that half marathon application turned out to be one of the best, and most important decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I feel a million times better than I did last year and genuinely feel like a whole new world has opened up over the past few months. If you’re teetering about entering into your first race, in the words of Nike, Just Do It. I’m so glad I did.

Enough with the pep talk, until next time

Peace Out


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Tales of a Miserable Run

I’ve been basking in New Years smugness recently (a la last couple of posts). I’ve been running, swimming or doing something active every day this week and it’s been going well. I’ve actually been enjoying myself – even the killer hill route I’ve discovered of which I partook four miles of on Thursday.

Today, however,  was just one of ‘those’ runs where every step was an effort. I did eight miles and, similar to what I do in my every day life, I decided not to make it easy for myself. Although the Brighton Half Marathon is pretty flat, I’ve decided to do all my longer runs in a beautiful, mahoosive Royal Park . Although it is beautiful, it’s also pretty hilly and my ‘try a new thing every day’ plan backfired when trying a new running route saw me faced with some pretty evil inclines. Normally, after a couple of miles, I get in ‘The Zone’ and although I’m not particularly fast, I can get along without too much effort. Today, that just didn’t happen even though the weather was stunning and I was running around a gorgeous lake – I just wasn’t feeling it. The last mile was particularly awful. Didn’t stop though and am pleased with myself that I finished. Hope next week is better – it better be – it’s a 10 miler!

Apart from today (when I spent an hour and a half wondering how I could have come up with such a stupid New Years Resolution) I’ve really enjoyed trying something new every day. Amongst other things I’ve found myself walking home from work (a mere 7.8 miles), grabbing a cup of coffee before catching my train (where I bumped into a colleague which led to a nice chat on our journey in) and a genuine revelation is that it’s so much nicer to travel round London on the bus rather than tube. So although today has mostly been spent being grumpy, it has actually been a lovely week. 2012 is still being good to me.

Until next time

Peace Out


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Back In The Game

So this is the first week I’ve properly got back into preparations for the Half Marathon in February. I knocked out six miles this morning and everything feels good! So, for the next six weeks my life looks like this

Monday – Swim

Tuesday – Run 4 Miles

Wednesday – Pilates

Thursday – Run 4-5 miles up some hills

Friday – Swim

Saturday – Run 8-12 miles

Sunday – Curl up in a ball and die / Pilates

Sounds a peach, doesn’t it!! I’ve also been given a Wii Fit over Christmas so I’m gonna do a little bit of that every day to help with stretchy things. Not too sure how reliable it is though – yesterday it had my fitness age at 25 – today it was 36! I also got some new goggles for swimming – first time I tried them out they were way too tight and for a whole day it looked like I’d been punched in both eyes – good one.

I’ve also been trying something new every day this week – nothing huge – I’ve not found a new cure for the common cold or an answer to why you always lose at least one sock in a load of washing. I have, however, discovered two new places to get a nice cup of coffee, that I actually like Ryvita,  some lovely new places to run, a more interesting way to get home from work, that honey in my porridge tastes really good and that I actually prefer running at night-time. Nothing revolutionary – but lots of things that will make my day to day life a little nicer 🙂

So, until next time – Peace out – hope 2012 is still being awesome for you all


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The Smug New Years Post

So, we are now in 2012. Outside my room, the rain is absolutely tipping it down – Good start 2012 – Must Try Harder.

I’ve returned to London following an amazing trip back home to Northern Ireland over the holidays. Times like this always make you take a bit of a pause. You meet up with people you haven’t seen for a year, you see what they’ve done, achieved or produced and it makes you take stock of how you’ve spent that last 365 days. While I was at home, my Mum received some sad news about an old work colleague. This lady had been overweight and unwell for years – she gradually became more and more obese until about six months ago she just gave up and stopped going out. She’s now in a coma and receiving palliative care. A few months ago she tearfully told my Mum she felt she’d wasted her life.  (WARNING – Here comes the smug bit) It’s a real cliche, but stories like that really make you realise that life isn’t a dress rehearsal – there’s no way I can go back and change past regrets, decisions or experiences. I’m running the Brighton Half Marathon for the Alzheimers Society and this also makes you think about bigger things like what it will like to grow older, look back over your life and what you will be proud of.

I met up with a good friend for coffee last week and we talked about how we spent this year and how I never thought in a million years I would be running a half marathon. It made me wonder what other things I’ve told myself I can’t do, what limitations I’ve put on myself, what experiences I’ve talked myself out of. I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions (they’re usually abandoned by January 9th). Despite this, I’m going to try an experiment for a month. I’m going to try something new each day. Nothing major, nothing earth shattering, but to challenge the ‘No, that won’t work; You won’t like that’ voice that so often pops up. That’s where I think the exciting things in life happen – not in outlandish Gap Yah japes, but in the subtle shifting of new experiences from day to day – of eating something new, getting to work a different way, going someplace different in your free time. So January will be a month of newness – could be exciting…..

(WARNING – EVEN MORE SMUGNESS)    I started off this New Year the way I mean to go on – up and running. I made it to the lovely park near my house despite the hangover and the head cold I can feel emerging and felt amazing. This is definately NOT how I started last New Year. It’s incredible how things in life can change so quickly and so dramatically. I just cannot begin to describe how unlikely I thought this scenario would be as I embarked upon 2011 and I also cannot begin to describe how much healthier and better I’m feeling compared to this time last year. The hip is feeling good and I was able to keep up with all my cross training and stretching over the holidays. It’s going to be a real challenge over the next 6 weeks, but I’m really excited about the ride. Ok, smugness aside – the rest of the day will mostly be spent eating popcorn and watching trash. A very Happy New Year – I hope 2012 is awesome for you. Peace Out