My 2013 Race Recap – The Year I Ran 4 Marathons, 6 Half Marathons And My First Ever Ultra Marathon

This post is a quick recap on all of the races I ran this year.

I entered 2013 with a marathon personal best of 4:54 and a half marathon time of 2:07:11.

I didn’t have any real goals for the year, only to keep on running and to enjoy it as much as possible.

All in all I completed 1 ultra marathon, 4 marathons and 6 half marathons.

Brighton Half Marathon – February – 2:07:07  (personal best)

This was a very tough race for me. I don’t quite understand why. I wanted to stop at mile 10 as the pain of running was too much. I continued on and achieved a personal best of 4 seconds.

Celebrated after the run in a gay bar across the road from the Promenade where a group of women invited me over to their table as I was sitting all alone and one of them talked about how she had to cut dried shit out of the back of her dog’s coat.

I made my excuses and headed to Wetherspoons.

Still, it was a fun day out. I’ve entered for next year but I don’t think I’ll be able to go unfortunately!

Liverpool Half Marathon – March – 2:02 (personal best)

A good race as ever in Liverpool.

It was held on St Patrick’s Day and I thought I’d be up for a major piss-up after the race.

To be honest I couldn’t be bothered .

I was sick to my stomach after putting everything into the run and spent the next 2 hours wandering around Liverpool City Centre trying to avoid a bunch of drunken twats who were wreaking havoc everywhere I looked.

Paris Marathon 2013 – April – 4:52 (personal best)

Total fucking disaster.

Spent the 2 nights before it high as a kite in Amsterdam, chowing down space cakes and Psilocybe Atlantis like there was no tomorrow.

Turned up in Paris Gare De Nord emotionally wrecked after a taxing experience the previous evening where Samara and Kim Jong-Un were playing table tennis in my hotel room after too many shrooms.

If I’d been piss tested after the race I’d have been disqualified for being a drug cheat.

The run was going well until mile 16 when I hit the wall. I hadn’t brought any fuel with me on the race, my mind was shot after the brain-rape in Amsterdam and I crawled home in 4:52.

Still, a personal best, but it wasn’t enjoyable in the slightest. My face below says it all.

Edinburgh Rock N Roll Half Marathon – April – 2:03

1 week after the Paris Marathon and I was heading back out on another jaunt, this time to Edinburgh.

The race itself was marred by the rainy weather.

I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I felt surprisingly strong given that this was only a week after Amsterdam/Paris.

At the time I was dismayed as I’d missed out on the sub 2 hour marathon mark. It ruined what should have been a joyous occasion.

Still I got a brilliant medal from it.

Belfast Marathon 2013 – May – 4:37 (personal best)

The first marathon I ever enjoyed really.

I made the mistake of carrying Reese’s Cups in my Camelbak and by the end of the race they had melted with my sweat into the lining of the material.

Fucking disgusting.

I hit the wall at mile 20 but this time around I knew I could jog through it and record a personal best after the disappointment of Paris.

In the end I took 15 minutes off my time and then enjoyed a wonderful week away in Crete the day after.

My legs were cramping like hell on that plane….

Lisburn Half Marathon 2013 – June – 2:05

Not much to say about this one, other than it was fun to run on a Wednesday evening for once!

Highlight of the run was downing 3 pints in The Cardan in 10 minutes before my train was due home.

I wasn’t overly impressed with my time, but I already knew I was gonna be off the sub 2 hour pace before I started.

It was all about getting around on the day and enjoying myself as much as possible.

Titanic Quarter 50k 2013 – September – 8:23 (personal best!)

My first ever ultramarathon and it was very fucking painful.

Long story short, I got lost at mile 9, ran an extra 6 miles, had to stop for a few shits in a number of country parks and on one occasion asked for the permission of the Northern Irish Justice Minister to go to the toilet in public.

Still I got through the experience relatively unscathed. I was in last position by over an hour but that didn’t matter.

I’d only started training for the event 2 weeks before the 50k and I knew it was gonna be a challenge.

Not my finest hour, but I got through it and I’m now an ultrarunner!

Rock N Roll Dublin Marathon 2013 – September – 1:57 (personal best)

After 14 attempts at trying to record a sub 2 hour half marathon I finally managed it on Dublin.

It was amazing blasting through the last mile feeling strong as hell right until the finish.

The only worrying thing about the race was that I almost fainted in the shower after the run. I’d put everything into it and felt nauseous for the rest of the day.

Put a dampener on the occasion.

Great Scottish Run – October – 1:56 (personal best)

The Great Scottish Run is arguably my favourite half marathon race as I love visiting Glasgow and the race route is typically quite flat.

The weather on the day wasn’t great but I was delighted to record yet another personal best, especially so soon after the Dublin Rock N Roll Marathon.

I was touch and go for the run up until Saturday evening. I’d spent that Friday in the Cathouse Rock Cub in central Glasgow where I became too drunk and ended up hurling all morning Saturday.

I started to feel much better after some salad and a Crabbies Ginger Beer and then recorded a new best time on Sunday!

Dublin Marathon 2013 – October – 4:23 (personal best)

Everything came together in Dublin.

The crowds were fantastic. The weather on the day was perfect for running.

And I actually managed to complete the entire race without stopping to walk.

Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon 2013 – November – 4:44

Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go and get really fucking drunk the day before the race.

Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to have 2 Margarita’s on race morning.

Maybe going to Las Vegas for 10 nights and running a marathon right in the middle isn’t conductive to great marathon times.

Still, the 10 days I spent there were amazing and I recorded my 3rd best marathon time there.

And I got an amazing medal!

Jogger On A Run Streak – The Benefits Of Running On Consecutive Days

In the past 5 days I’ve amassed 47 miles on 5 consecutive runs and I absolutely love going outside for a jog now.

Whilst in the past I’ve been dead against run streaks because of the associated injury risk, I’ve decided this time to try to keep going for as long as I can.

If I start to suspect than injury is imminent, I’m gonna cut the streak short. As it stands my body is in great shape as I’ve been taking it very easy and concentrating largely on the amount of time I’m spending on my feet.

Here are some of the benefits I’m noticing by running every day.

  1. I’ve structured my daily run in as part of my healthier lifestyle – Breakfast is always followed by a run. When I know that I’m going out later for a jog, I’m much less likely to have a block of cheese or a packet of Haribo for breakfast. I don’t want to tempt fate and shit myself. I can’t seem to run well with a full stomach.
  2. I’m building momentum with my running for the first time in a while – Whilst my pace might be modest, I can finally see my speed and endurance moving forward. This can only be positive for the future. The best aspect of my progress is that I’m having to put in much less effort to maintain my pace than even this time last week.
  3. My daily run means that I eat much less through the course of 24 hours – I don’t have any appetite for at least a few hours after my run. Rather than force food into my system, I now wait until about 3 or 4pm to have a light snack before having dinner. When I’ve ran this often in the past I’ve struggled severely with the runger. I’d go outside, plod 5 miles and come back in and eat an entire pack of Snickers bars as a ‘reward’ for my running. Now if I even think about ruining my progress, I threaten to reward myself with a swift fucking punch to the balls because that’s as helpful as a sugary fix.

    What’s that Mr T? Get some Nuts? I’d rather fucking punt myself in the nuts you whore. If you’re gonna be a shill at least market something healthy like Guinness. 

  4. I’m no longer frightened at having to pick up the pieces and start afresh with my running – If I go even 3 or 4 days without a run I start to panic that I won’t be able to run anymore. It’s an absolutely absurd notion that is destroyed entirely by going for a run every single day.
  5. My mood is much better throughout the day and I have hope in life now – I don’t know what it is about the winter, but I struggle emotionally with the shorter days. Now that I have the time to run in the early afternoon, my evenings are so much brighter and full of joy. I haven’t laughed this much in too long. I now feel like I have breathing space to sort out my problems. For the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been using junk food to block out emotional pain and it’s been the coward’s way out. Now I have less of that pain.
  6. I’m now running much more efficiently – By efficiently I mean that I’m running lazy with as little effort as possible. I’m conscious of putting too much strain on my body with the run streak so I need to make sure I listen to my body.
  7. I can try out new things on each run – For most of last year I was running on average 3 times per week. This meant that I didn’t have much room to plan speed sessions, hill workouts and long distance runs. Now I’m more adventurous. For the first time in my running life I’m dedicating some runs for speed sessions. I’ve even been bringing my marathon fuel belt along with me on shorter runs so that I can practice taking in energy on the move (that’s what I tell myself anyway. I think I’m developing a serious mental dependence on SIS GO Blackcurrant Flavour).
  8. The run streak reinforces the fact that I’m committed to running the 100k – This is important as it gives me a little peace of mind. At Christmas time I was experiencing guilt for not taking my training seriously enough. Now I have no room for guilt.

Have you ever went on a run streak? If so, how many days did you manage and did you remain injury free?

Early Morning Running Inspiration – Some Tips On How To Get Out Of Your Bed For A Jog!

You’ll be glad to hear that I ran this morning at 6am. 7.2 miles in 71 minutes. It was fucking amazing! The first 3 miles were into the wind and for the rest of the journey the breeze carried me.

Anyway I’m glad that a lot of you enjoyed my last rant about It got me thinking about what motivates me to run. Here are a few ideas that I use from time to time when it’s too early/cold/windy/snowy or dark outside.

  1. Give yourself half an hour to wake up before you plan to run. Tidy your bedroom, make some coffee and plan your day out. Relax and wait for the inspiration to come. You don’t have to shovel down raw eggs like Rocky or punch your refrigerator. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time so that you aren’t rushing when you get back home.
  2. The best bit about running early in the morning in a small town is the you have free reign of the quiet roads. There’s less traffic which gives you greater freedom in terms of a route. There’s less chance of an accident. When there are no vehicles or people about, I enjoy sprinting down the centre line of roads pretending I am a car. I have this invasive thought when I’m out that I’m gonna stop for a piss down a quiet side road, be apprehended by a police officer and plead with him for my freedom with a line like “Are you with the AA? I’m only standing here for a routine change of oil, sir’.
  3. Set your alarm tone to something that really fires you up. I used to use Born To Run until I got sick of it.  Keep the phone well away from your night stand to stop yourself from turning the alarm off.
  4. Leave out your running gear the night before along with anything else you need to run. You’ll be amazed by how unwilling you’ll be at 6am to go hunting for your sweating old running kit.
  5. If you don’t have the time or the will to run the distance you had initially planned then why not go on a shorter run?  Anything is better than nothing. Whenever I decide to go out on a short run I end up staying out longer than I had planned. Get out there and do something! Every mile counts.
  6. It can take a while for me to get the inspiration to finally move. It will often come from playing a song I love or messing around with my guitar. Motivation for running will hit me like a thunderbolt.  I go out as soon as it strikes otherwise I fear I might change my mind.
  7. Fire yourself up with anger. If i think about someone I hate, the running juices kick in and I want to hammer the ground hard with my feet.  Eamomn Holmes’ face on Sky News riles me so much that jogging is a joy even in the cold.
  8. If you can’t run today then never worry. Don’t give into shame. Make a list of 3 positive things that you’ll do today that will make running easier for you in the future. You could count calories, walk a bit more, watch some inspirational videos or research some new races that you’d like to enter. Just do something that will put you in a better position tomorrow then you were in today when you woke up.
  9. If you have a problem at work then a morning run can seriously do wonders in terms of coming up with a solution. Once the runners high hits, all sorts of shit pops into my head from nowhere. New ideas. New solutions. The unsolvable suddenly becomes solvable.
  10. Reward yourself for running. It doesn’t have to be food or drink. My prize is a footlong Ham Subway without cheese for breakfast. If I reward myself with food, I’m careful not to consume even half of the calories I burned during the run otherwise I feel that it negates my effort.