Run, Always Run

Life after a marathon is a weird one. My alarm doesn’t drag me out of bed at 6am every weekday. Saturday afternoon is no longer spent exhausted on the sofa after a gargantuan long run. Given the London Marathon was my life for six months, adjusting is a bit strange.
To be honest, I spent the past couple of weeks doing feck all apart from a little bit of yoga every now and again. But now my calf feels better and I’m getting antsy. It’s been lovely just to enjoy running again without the pressure of getting huge miles in.Tonight I had the choice of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on Sky+ or a late night run.

While it was tempting to watch Honeys’ antics on Gogo Juice, I was reminded of Ben Davies of the Do Life Movement. His mantra is Run, Always Run. It’s been said that the hardest part of your run is getting out the door and I can certainly attest to that. I can honestly say that once I’m out, I’ve never regretted a run. So tonight I took myself out for four balmy miles along the Thames. Absolutely beautiful.
People have asked what I’m going to do with this blog now the marathon is over. If it’s agreeable with y’all (my God, I just wrote y’all!) I’ll share my Ramblings every now and again. I’ve lined up the York 10k in August and Run To The Beat – a half marathon in September. Should be good – just don’t let me turn into a Keeno


With A Little Help From My Friends

20130423-223808.jpgAs I posted yesterday, what really helped me through the London Marathon on Sunday was dedicating a mile to different people who hold a special place in my heart. Here goes ….

1) Matthew Robbins – my Godson who is going to be christened in a few weeks time. Beginning of a wonderful little life

2) Sebastian – My cousin who was also running that day

3) Lu Lingzi – One of the spectators killed at the Boston Marathon

4) Hannah my niece – A beautiful and talented young woman about to take her GCSEs – a bright future awaits her

5) My Brother David – The most genuine person I know

6) Grampa – All round legend and head of the best family you could ever hope for

7) My cousin Matthew – Just about to start University – Whatever he does, this lad will go very far indeed

8) Kristel Campbell – Another spectator at the Boston Marathon

9) Jodie – A fantastic friend living in Canada who I wish I could see more often

10) Ellie & Alan – For just being the best friends anyone could wish to have

11) My Cousin Rose – An immensely talented young lady just about to finish uni and get into life

12) My sister Caroline – Really got behind this whole project with such enthusiasm and fantastic mother to Hannah (no4)

13) Martin Richards – the eight year boy old killed while watching his Dad finish the Boston Marathon

14) My Dad – Because he’s my Dad and just fantastic

15) Amy & Geoff – Soon to be married – wishing them the very best in married life

16) My cousin Austin and his fiancé Laura. Also soon to be married and wishing them a very happy future

17) The Boston Marathon

18) My Mum – Who flew over from Northern Ireland to come and cheer me on and who couldn’t have done more to support me in this endeavour

19) Becky – this was my ‘cramp’ mile so who better to dedicate it to than someone who causes me pain and irritation ONLY JOKING! My own Ms motivator who I love dearly

20) For my legs – just praying they would start working again!

21)To Sarah – One of my oldest friends who is taking on the Belfast Marathon in a few weeks

22) My Auntie Anne – my fairy Godmother who masterminded a huge fundraising event

23) My nephew Callum – Who told me he’d got a medal running at school very far and very fast – future marathoner?

24) The Griffin family in London and N. Ireland – Who got behind this 100%

25) Granny – Hoping every step was doing her proud. I had her picture pinned to my back and her broach pinned to my front. Whenever it got tough I looked at it, put my head down and kept going

26) Everyone who sponsored me or sent messages of support. I ran out of miles to mention everyone individually, and at this stage, I’m not prepared to do an ultra marathon to fit everyone in!

Other good things about the day – beating Katherine Jenkins and Ed Balls 🙂

Click here to find out why I was doing this and to sponsor the shuffle


Day One Hundred and Seventy Five – The One Where I Run A Marathon

On day 175 I ran a marathon for the first time. Tomorrow I’ll write a geekily detailed account, but for now I’ll say that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Cramp at mile 17 meant I finished nowhere near my hoped for time but I couldn’t give a hoot. London, you were outstanding. Undeterred by Boston, people came out in their hundreds and thousands and bathed runners in love. For now, shower, dinner, bed!


Day One Hundred and Thirty Three

I made my way to the Sunday night pub quiz this evening. I’ve been travelling to my friends who live near there the exact same way for the past four years. Today I experimented with a new route which turned out to be much better. Today may not have been the most exciting of The Challenge, but this is exactly why it’s such a good thing to do. It’s amazing how quickly we can fall into ruts and routines which may not always be the best thing for us, yet because it’s familiar we do it again and again for days, weeks, years, a lifetime. So, I’ve a challenge for you dear readers. Tomorrow when you’re making the morning Monday slog into work, do one thing to shake it up a bit. Go a slightly different way. Take a different mode of transport. Buy a different drink on your commute. Do something new
Until tomorrow
Peace Out


The Post I Never Wanted To Write

So, this is where I explain the week-long absence from my blogging challenge.

Last Friday morning, my wonderful grandmother passed away. She died peacefully, holding the hand of her husband to whom she was married for 63 years and in a room filled with her closest family members who she loved completely.

My grandmother was the inspiration behind my initial half marathon challenge in February 2012 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society – a condition Granny endured with dignity and grace. I am pleased that her suffering is over and she is at peace, however, her passing has left an aching hole in our family and my poor grandfather says he feels like one of his limbs is missing.

Literally hundreds of people have visited the family home to pay their last respects and talk about how she had impacted upon their lives. We estimate over 500 people attended her thanksgiving service which was the most uplifting, positive Church experience of my life. I overheard the same phrase again and again – she was just a real lady.

In amongst all the tears we’ve shared, there have been many laughs and many opportunities to grow. I’ve talked to my cousins and extended family with a vulnerability and honesty which we’ve never experienced before, I’ve seen a body in a coffin for the first time, I’ve spoken at a funeral for the first time, I’ve seen ashes placed in a crypt. I sat on the bed beside Granny’s coffin and shared a glass of wine with my uncle and cousin, all three of us laughing and crying as we shared stories and memories of this remarkable woman who has left us with so much.
This week has made me even more determined to conquer the London Marathon in April. Again, this is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society to fund research and support into this awful condition that currently has less randomised control trials into it than hayfever.
If you would like to support this challenge – feel free to click on the link. It’s ambitious, but I’d love to match the £2000 we raised last February. What’s ultimately a better thing to do if you don’t want to give money, and if you’re lucky enough to have your Granny still with you, tell her you love her this weekend.
Normal daily blogging adventures will now resume until The Big Day.
Hope I do you proud Granny


One Year On


One year ago today was one of the best days of my life. On 19th February 2012, I ran the Brighton Half Marathon. This was my first ever running race – 6 months previously I could barely run for one minute. Crossing that finish line was an emotional experience (euphemism for cried like a baby). It also made my feet look like this. It was the culmination of an incredible journey – What started as a random challenge I set for myself one night when I was in a bad mood, turned into something which (at the risk of sounding a tad dramatic) radically changed my life.
Two more half marathons and a half dozen 10ks later, here I am on my way to running a full marathon. I recently watched a skit on TV about an insufferable health convert, which made me chuckle knowingly. I own three yoga mats and a foam roller BUT let’s be clear, I still eat cake. I still eat far too much cake than is good for me. And red wine is my favourite.
It makes me sad to think how I was never enthused by sport as a kid – what a waste. This all came about by accident when I stumbled across a Couch to 5K podcast and got hooked. I’ve written before how this has really made me realise how many experiences I’ve talked myself out of – so many opportunities I’ve denied myself because I’ve said I can’t do it. Which is really rubbish. So I challenge you – do Couch to 5k, book yourself into a race – even if the sight of a pair of trainers makes you want to vom. It could change your life.
I’m running the marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society – a fantastic charity. More later on why it has a special place in my heart. If you want to support this challenge and make all those blisters and 6am starts worth it, feel free to stop by here – cheers guys.
Now enough of the pep talk – let’s get me some cake ….
Peace Out

Day Seventy Seven – The One Where I Make My Own Peanutbutter

After yesterday I was feeling super inspired for my long run this morning. I got in 11 miles including three humungous hills and felt pretty ok. I’ve heard peanut butter is a really good thing to eat after strenuous exercise – something about the protein/carb balance (my God, when did I start talking like this??!). So I thought it would be a good thing to try new thing number 77 – making my own peanut butter. Again, this is a recipe from the fantastic blog Frugal Feeding and my word it was yum! Also incredibly easy and not full of sugar and preservatives and rubbish that you get in shop bought stuff. Would DEFINITELY recommend giving this a go.