Wednesday, 29 March 2017


I used to really look forward to the weekend. That was until I started training for the London Marathon. The weekend now means PAIN. It also is looked upon with fear and loathing. It means THE LONG RUN!

Last Saturday saw my longest run coincide with the hottest day of the year so far (here's hoping). If you were in East Belfast you would probably have seen me trying to throw up at about 14.5 miles.


I now have the big one to 'look forward' to this Saturday.  20 MILES! If I'm honest, I'm dreading it.  Thankfully it will be a bit cooler this weekend according to Barra Best but you know what he's like sometimes. I'm hoping London will be freezing on April 23rd.  Talking of big ones, a big shout out to Lucozade Sport for their 'Lucozade Sport - The Big One'.   Oh, you beautiful thing!

This Saturday night we will be having a couple of relaxing drinks (not Lucozade Sport) with one of my best mates Neil who is celebrating his birthday. 20 miles could have worked up a serious thirst. You have been warned!

Staying hydrated is important on the long runs and also getting some fuel on board so it's back to the gels I think.  Hoping to meet Vicki in the next few weeks who has some great tips for the London Marathon which she completed a couple of years back. 

Sponsorship is standing at £1145 at the minute so looking for a big push towards the £2000 target.  To help this, not only am I running the streets of London but I have again agreed to dress up in a big chicken outfit* for the family Easter Egg Hunt.  Hoping to raise a few quid at it for the charity. 

Also a problem with sweat getting into my eyes.

What do you think about bandannas**?

*  I know what you are thinking. No way am I running the marathon in a chicken outfit
** seriously

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


Now that the miles are being increased, new problems are arriving. 

1. blisters
2. pain
3. doubts
4. lemon and lime gels*
5. is the Lucozade Sport in the fridge?**

For the last two weeks I've hit problems around the 12 miles mark. Basically sheer exhaustion and my body refusing to go any further. Yes, I have forgotten how bloody hard this is.

Gill and I also made the mistake of running Victoria Park parkrun on Saturday morning - a day before our 'big run' on Sunday.  We lined up beside Irish Olympian Paul Pollock who was aiming to smash the course record of 15:01. When I say we 'lined up beside him', the next we saw him again was when he lapped us after one lap as he was completing his second lap. Anyway, he didn't break the record***.

Sunday saw us incorporating a new route into our 15 mile run.  We set off from home, down the Newtownards Road and through the newly opened Greenway through to a few laps of  Victoria Park, down Airport Road, Kinnegar, Seapark and back home through Holywood, WhiteCity, Old Holywood Road, and Outer Ring.  

It was a very tough run. I also developed blisters on my feet at about 12 miles so need to sort that out pretty quickly. I finished it in pain and asked myself how the hell can I get to 26.2 miles.  I need to dig deep, push through the pain and just get it done.  

Apologies to anyone who saw the row with Gill at 13 miles over whether the Lucozade Sport was in the fridge or not for after our run. Tired minds and bodies - lol. 

Sponsorship is sitting at £828 as I type this so hoping for a big push again to get over the half way mark.  Thanks for all your support both in terms of sponsorship and motivation. You can still donate here 

We booked our flights last week for the four of us so we plan to make a weekend of it in London. Feels very real now with flights booked and only 40 days to go. 

Running around Belfast on Sunday I was thinking in 40 days time I'll be swapping Titanic Belfast and Sam Thompson Bridge for Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge.

*   Grant - you are right. Lemon and Lime gels make you want to throw up.
**  The  bottles weren't in the fridge, but I'd like to thank Gill for buying them anyway
*** 15:22 still ain't bad Paul

Monday, 6 March 2017


Another week, another series of training runs. I got a message this week to tell me I had less than 50 days to go till the London Marathon. It's coming around very quickly! I'm glad to say so is the sponsorship! At present I'm now over the £800 mark and almost half-way to the magic figure of £2000 for the brilliant charity HOPE FOR YOUTH NI. It believes the best hope for reconciliation and peace in Northern Ireland is to support cross-community projects, where young people aged 11-18 can learn to work together to learn new skills, build friendships and develop their confidence in a safe environment.

Sunday saw Gill and I out tackling 13 miles in what I'd describe as "mixed weather conditions". We set off from Cutter's Wharf in Stranmillis and headed to Lisburn and back along the Lagan towpath. Whilst it is very flat and scenic it's not a route I want to see for a while. I found the last couple of miles very tough and challenging. I had a couple of those gel pouches which almost make you sick.  To be honest I don't know if they really help but I took a couple when I needed them and think they helped me.

Isotonic gels - they make you boke

Aiming for another big run next weekend with 15 miles on the horizon! The plan is to reach 21/22 miles by the last weekend in March before I start my tapering. I must remember from two years ago that tapering doesn't just mean sitting on the sofa and resting. I also got a nice mention on my company's website in the news section last week. Head over to Promethean World to read more about my London Marathon journey.