Couch to 36 Mile Training Diary

13th September

Morning Weight: 14st 10

Slept in bed. Woke up the freshest I’ve felt since Saturday. 5 easy miles should be fine today.

12th September

Morning Weight: 14st 12

Slept on the floor.

Ran a few easy miles. No idea how many as I had a problem with my app but I think 4 or 5. Stopped for a drink at mile 2 but somebody had made off with my water.

Tired all day. I haven’t really felt energised since Saturday.

11th September (Monday)

Morning Weight: 14st 11lbs

50 step ups on stool

No running. Only very light swimming with the wee man.

I feel good though. My feet blisters still look ugly, but the pain is gone. I’m optimistic about doing 20 easy miles on Wednesday and then that’ll be my training done for Listowel though I will probably do some easy miles after that. I am uber-conscious about avoiding injury.

10th September

Morning Weight: 14st 12lbs

I woke up around 6am in my bed with a slightly groggy head from the 3 Heineken I drank last light.

I ended up doing no exercise whatsoever. I kept nodding off all day so it seems my body needs the rest.

[My feet are still sore from the blisters so there won’t be any running today. Even though I feel good, I realise I have been going far beyond what I thought capable in a very short space of time. For this reason I shall do nothing more than some easy swimming to stretch out my body and use different muscles for a change.]


9th September

Morning Weight: 14st 12lbs

I woke up at 5am feeling an incredible amount of energy pulsing through my body and knew that today I could perform well.

I went up to the Galway race course at around 6.30am and, since it was an hour until sunup, I decided to do my first couple of laps in shoes. I don’t like not being able to see what I’m planting my bare feet on.

Running an ultra marathon with little training

After the first two laps (3 miles) I got rid of my shoes with the thought and knowledge that my feet were conditioned enough to do about 4 laps (6 miles). I felt strong through every lap, my feet presented no problem, and I was enjoying myself and so kept going until I had done around 11 miles (7 laps). (The course is 1.5 miles around but you can make it longer by how wide you go on certain parts).

My feet started to sting about half way through my 7th barefoot lap and so I hobbled back to where I had left my shoes.

My feet are destroyed with blisters and for the rest of the day I hobble around like somebody who needs an urgent hip replacement. haha.


8th September

Morning Weight: 14st 10lbs

Slept on the floor. I felt tired going to bed and tired on waking. Some easy walking is all I shall do today. I’m going on a photography adventure tomorrow so might do my long run on Sunday if I feel good.

I neglected step up/lunges since the 4th so this morning I did 30 on each leg on…the stool in the kitchen…blah blah blah. My hip issue has felt almost non-existent for the last few days, though I had a slightly weird, though not painful, snapping sensation in it on doing the step ups. My glutes and thighs are getting nicely padded. My neck didn’t bother me at all during my 5 mile run yesterday, which is also pretty fabulous.

Oddly, despite feeling very tired on waking, about half an hour after this I felt I was boiling over with excess energy so thought I’d try a 10 mile run on grass in my VFF’s while listening to an audiobook.

Plodding my way through the first mile was fine but by mile two I couldn’t concentrate on the audiobook. I kept going anyway but about half way through the third mile I experience a fit of coughing which stopped me in my tracks and led to my being bent over and retching like I was going to vomit. I didn’t though, and subsequently started feeling dizzy and seeing stars in my vision.

I decided to walk the way through my third mile and call it a day. I started to think maybe I am overdoing it and that running Listowel is a very, very, bad idea.

7th September

Morning Weight: 14st 12lbs

Slept in bed again because wee man was over for a movie night.

Running an ultra marathon with little training

Tonight I go back to the floor.

I squeezed in a 5 mile run around lunchtime. I did it on the grass in my Vibram Five Fingers because of Achilles twinges running on concrete the day before. I felt good throughout and may do much of the remainder of my training on grass.

NOTE: Since I only have about 2 weeks left I’m thinking I might only do one long run in that time of about 20+ miles. The rest of the runs I shall do to simply burn off any crazy excesses of energy that my uber healthy diet is causing. It’s funny to think that a training program I followed in the past peaked at a 20mile run three weeks before the main event. The particular book in which the program was mentioned nothing about diet and, for me at least, quality training starts with my knife and fork. In fact – it ends there too.

6th September

Morning Weight 15st

Slept in bed instead of on the floor and woke up groggy and lethargic as hell at  9am. It always amazes me how groggy I feel on waking comparative to when I spend any amount of consecutive nights on the floor. I feel good, I think I can do 15 miles today.

I felt pumped but due to time constraints/poor time management I only had time to run 7 miles which I did at about 10 mins/mile. For 1.5 miles of this I took my shoes off and ran in thin socks. I felt revved up for the whole day. Such a goooood feeling. Exercise and eating well leads to a higher plain of consciousness. In a café I go to the lady who was serving ended up throwing her arms around me, which was cool. I don’t even know her but my sense of wellbeing is high and I feel high on life, and when you laugh the whole world laughs with you.


NOTE: Due to achilles twinges I decided to wear my Vibram Five Fingers (VFFS) to do about 8 miles on the grass tomorrow. I never wear VFFS on concrete, only on grass because I am scared of stomping in dog poop.

5th September

Morning Weight 15st 2lbs – I gained weight — ohhhh nooo

I slept on the camping mat (pillowless) in the kitchen all night from about 12am to 7.15am. This time it felt much more natural than the previous two nights and I slept well and woke up feeling fresh and limber.

Decided not to do lunges today since my hip was at me a small bit yesterday when I was doing them.

Felt great first thing so thought I’d easily plod through an 11.5 mile/2 hour jog, but 1.5 mile warm up jog surprisingly felt like a bit of a struggle so I figure it’s best not to run today at all. I feel good though, and I think 15 miles (with 6 of those barefoot [in a thin pair of Penney’s socks]) might be on the cards for tomorrow.

NOTE: At this point my goal is to be able to COMFORTABLY plod through two long and slow runs prior to Listowel which is on on the 23rd of September at 12pm. I’m thinking one run needs to be around 15-20 miles with the other around 20-30 miles. 15 miles should be fine tomorrow or the day after at the latest [7th] and if I allow up to a week recovery [slow, easy barefoot runs only in this time], the 15th is the latest date for doing my 20-30 mile run/jog/plod.

I need to get these runs done before the 15th to allow a week to recover. So this gives me 10 days from now. The coffee needs to go completely.

4th September

Morning Weight: 14st 13 lbs

I slept on the camping mat (pillowless) in the kitchen from about 12am until 3am, at which point I was too uncomfortable and went to bed. I woke up at 7.30am feeling fresh. My cardiovascular engine is starting to purr beautifully and I feel a higher state of consciousness where my sense of wellbeing is impervious to damage. Boo-yakka-sha, bitches 😉

I did 20 lunges on each leg on the stool in the kitchen.

All day I felt pumped and had to resist the urge to go for a mega long run. My body seems up to the task but my brain keeps telling me I’m going far beyond my limits. Conversely, with training programs that failed in the past my body often said no while my brain pushed it onward anyway – BIG MISTAKE.

The only mileage I did today was to walk the dog for about a mile total.

3rd September

Morning Weight: 15st

  1. Slept on camping mat on tiled kitchen floor (pillowless) until around 1pm, but was too uncomfortable so went to bed.
  2. 20 step ups on each leg, in dressing gown, on kitchen stool while waiting for microwave to ping
  3. I slowly plodded my way through 11.5 Miles in a time of 2 hours 6 mins, 7.5 miles of which were doing 5 laps of the Galway race course, with 3 miles (2 laps) of this being done barefoot. However, I easily spent 15 minutes of this trying to make a video of myself running up the steps on the spectator stands, for the craic, like. I was going to add the Eye of the Tiger music to it later, but then I realised I was wearing the technical tshirt of an event that completely ignored my photography efforts – like I didn’t exist, so advertising them in any small way did not sit right with me. Spontaneously, it occurred to me to go bare chested and I thought that maybe this could be a good thing so as I have a record of my “before”. Well, let me tell you lovely folks, the sight of my flab jiggling was not a pretty sight as I hoofed up and down those steps. Honestly, I thought my bod was in much sexier condition than it is.
  4. Post run: ice cold shower because that cold water thrills me, baaaaby.

map my run

Note: Neck and hip issues feel much improved.